Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) conducting his oratorio "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, in 2001. Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Alexandre Tharaud plays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn – Joyce DiDonato, Les Violons du Roy, Bernard Labadie (Audio video)

Alexandre Tharaud returns with an album of music by Haydn and Mozart composed between 1777 and 1786, including the latter's masterpiece the Piano Concerto No.9 "Jeunehomme" widely regarded as one of his greatest contributions to the genre. The piano works are elegantly woven together: while Tharaud performs Mozart’s cadenzas in the Piano Concerto No.9, the pianist has written his own for the Rondo in A – employing themes from "Jeunehomme" – as well as for the Haydn concerto in which he uses motifs from Mozart's famous Rondo "Alla Turca" to give a truly Eastern European flavour to the work that seizes on the spirit of its final-movement Rondo all'Ungherese. The album sees Tharaud reunite with old friends: the award-winning French-Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy under the baton of their music director Bernard Labadie, and the outstanding mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in Mozart's concert aria "Ch'io mi scordi di te?".


French pianist Alexandre Tharaud is known for programs that hold together only marginally, and so it is here: Mozart's French piano student who went by the name of Mademoiselle Jeunehomme (or Jenamy or Jénomé) is associated with only one of these works, and possibly not even with that one: she is said to have given the premiere of the sprawling Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat major, K.271, but the work has all the hallmarks of music Mozart wrote for himself. What you have here is a rather random collection of classical piano-and-orchestra music, with a neglected aria thrown in for good measure. This said, Tharaud stands out from the crowd of other pianists who have played this concerto. It's not so much the rest of the program: the rather plain Piano Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11, of Haydn, or the two smaller obscure Mozart works. It's that the E flat concerto is really different. He performs with a well-established historical-instruments group, Les Violons du Roy under Bernard Labadie, but his approach on the piano is reminiscent of the old days with the major symphony orchestras: his sound is big, his phrasing expansive, his use of the pedal liberal. What makes this news is that he manages both to hold the music together and to make it fresh; Mozart recordings of this kind have a strong family resemblance, but Tharaud, as so often, is both spontaneous and logical. A novel and successful Mozart release, with strong sound from Quebec's Domaine Forget concert hall.

Source: James Manheim (

Ο γνωστός για τη δεξιοτεχνία του και πάντα απρόβλεπτος στις μουσικές επιλογές του, Γάλλος πιανίστας Αλεξάντρ Ταρό ερμηνεύει τρία έργα του Βόλφγκανγκ Αμαντέους Μότσαρτ (το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 9 σε Μι ύφεση μείζονα, K.271, το επιλεγόμενο "Jeunehomme", το Ροντό για πιάνο και ορχήστρα σε Λα μείζονα, K.386, και την άρια συναυλίας "Ch'io mi scordi di te?", K.505), και το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο σε Ρε μείζονα, Hob.XVIII:11, του Γιόζεφ Χάυντν. Την καναδική ορχήστρα δωματίου Les Violons du Roy διευθύνει ο ιδρυτής της Ορχήστρας και ειδικός στις ερμηνείες έργων του 17ου και 18ου αιώνα, αναγνωρισμένος Καναδός μαέστρος Bernard Labadie. Για την απόδοση της άριας "Ch'io mi scordi di te?" συμπράττει η διάσημη Αμερικανίδα μεσόφωνος Joyce DiDonato. Η ηχογράφηση έγινε στη διάρκεια του διεθνούς φεστιβάλ Domaine Forget, στην επαρχία Κεμπέκ του Καναδά, τον Αύγουστο του 2013.

Το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 9 σε Μι ύφεση μείζονα, K.271, γράφτηκε στο Σάλτσμπουργκ το 1777, όταν ο Μότσαρτ ήταν 21 ετών. Το Ροντό για πιάνο και ορχήστρα σε Λα μείζονα, K.386, γράφτηκε στα τέλη του 1782, την ίδια περίοδο που ο Μότσαρτ έγραψε τα τρία πρώτα Κοντσέρτα για πιάνο, από τα επιλεγόμενα «Κοντσέρτα της Βιένης», αρ. 11, 12 και 13. Η άρια συναυλίας "Ch'io mi scordi di te?", K.505, για σοπράνο, πιάνο και ορχήστρα, γράφτηκε από τον Μότσαρτ τον Δεκέμβριο του 1786 στη Βιένη και θεωρείται ως μία από τις σημαντικότερες συνθέσεις του είδους. Ο Γιόζεφ Χάυντν έγραψε το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 11 σε Ρε μείζονα, το διάστημα μεταξύ 1779 και 1783 και δημοσιεύτηκε το 1784. Πρόκειται για το έργο του Χάυντν το οποίο παρουσιάζει τις περισσότερες ομοιότητες με τα κοντσέρτα για πιάνο του Μότσαρτ.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

♪ Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat major "Jeunehomme", K.271 (1777)

i. Allegro
ii. Andantino
iii. Rondo. Presto

♪ Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in A major, K.386 (1782)

♪ Concert aria "Ch'io mi scordi di te?", K.505 (1786) *

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

♪ Piano Concerto in D major, Hob.XVIII:11 (1779-1783)

i. Vivace
ii. Un poco Adagio
iii. Rondo all'Ungarese. Allegro assai

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano *

Alexandre Tharaud, piano

Les Violons du Roy
Conductor: Bernard Labadie

Domaine Forget, Quebec, 11-15/08/2013

Erato / Warner Classics 2014

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

First publication: February 24, 2016 – Last update: January 31, 2018

Though he is well known for his interpretations of French keyboard music, Alexandre Tharaud has also achieved critical acclaim for his J.S. Bach and Chopin. Moreover, he has championed much contemporary music, particularly works by Mauricio Kagel and Thierry Pécou. Tharaud has even managed to mix both Baroque with modern fare in his concerts, fashioning programs built around Rameau (billed as Hommage à Rameau) and Couperin (Hommage à Couperin), wherein the pianist interleaves works by the respective Baroque master with those of modern composers like Renaud Gagneux, Gerard Pesson, Francois-Bernard Mâche, and others. Tharaud is involved in other imaginative programming activity, like an all-Satie concert he has regularly given that employs a singer and narrator for certain numbers. Tharaud has often appeared with many of the leading orchestras in Europe and collaborated in chamber works with flutist Philippe Bernold, violinist Pierre Amoyal, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, and others. For a pianist who began recording only from about 1995, Tharaud has amassed quite a sizable discography, with 30 or more titles available from various labels, including Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Virgin Classics, and Naïve.

Alexandre Tharaud was born in Paris on December 9, 1968. His father was a singer and director of operas. At five Alexandre began piano lessons and at 14 enrolled at the Paris Conservatory. Among his teachers there were Germaine Mounier and Théodor Paraskivesco. Tharaud had later studies with Leon Fleisher, Nikita Magaloff, and Claude Helffer. In 1987 Tharaud won the Barcelona-based Maria Callas Competition and two years later finished second at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich. He quickly drew notice on his concert tours throughout France and Europe. Naxos issued his first recording in 1995, a disc of piano works by Milhaud.

Journal Intime In 2000-2001 Tharaud recorded five volumes of the complete chamber works of Poulenc for the Naxos label. Tharaud received the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros in 2003 for his two-disc set on Harmonia Mundi of the complete solo piano works of Ravel. In October 2006, Tharaud received lavish praise when he gave the world-premiere performance of Thierry Pécou's Piano Concerto (l'Oiseau Innumérable) at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Tharaud's versatility in chamber music was underscored in 2008-2009 by his acclaimed performances on tour throughout the U.S., South Korea, and Japan with Queyras. Tharaud's later recordings include the 2010 Virgin Classics recording of Chopin works entitled Mon Journal Intime.

Source: Robert Cummings (

See also

Alexandre Tharaud – All the posts

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