Vienna – Brussels – Vienna

‘At the Crossroads’

Pieter Van Maldere (1729-1768) – Symfonia in D major, Opus 5 No. 1
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1759-1791)
– Concerto for basset clarinet in A major, K 622
or: Concerto for piano and orchestra in A major, K 415
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) – ‘Imaginary Symphony No. 105
La Passione: Adagio and Presto (No. 49)
– Il Distratto: Finale, prestissimo (No. 60)
– The Philosopher: Adagio (No. 22)
– The Clock: Andante (No. 10)
– The Horn Signal: Allegro (No. 31)
– Lamentatione: Adagio (No. 26)
– Farewell: Presto and Adagio (No. 45)

Terra Nova Collective
Vlad Weverbergh, conductor and basset clarinet
Naruhiko Kawaguchi, pianoforte

Pieter van Maldere

There can be no doubt that Pieter Van Maldere (1729-1768) was the premier composer of the Austrian Netherlands during the middle years of the 18th century. He was a renowned violin virtuoso and Kapellmeister to prince Karl of Lothringia, the regent of the Austrian Netherlands.

Van Maldere composed forty-nine symphonies in which he combined wide-ranging melodies in the French style with a compact structure and tonal planning that was a hallmark of the Viennese classical style. His symphonies were published and performed throughout Europe. The library of Esterházy contains all of these published symphonies; the scores were purchased by Joseph Haydn, who clearly performed them at Esterházy.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart too was familiar with Van Maldere’s music and also met him during his visit to Brussels as a child prodigy. Later in life, Mozart became friends with the Viennese clarinettist Anton Stadler; this friendship resulted in several splendid works for the instrument. The collaboration between Stadler and Theodor Lotz, the instrument maker to the Viennese court, led to a completely new form of clarinet in 1788. This was later to be named the basset clarinet.

This instrument is two whole tones deeper than that of a normal clarinet. Its greater range gives the composer room to create a completely different type of musical line for the solo instrument, enabling a natural sounding dialogue between a higher and a lower line. The basset clarinet can imitate a passage sung by a female and a male voice on its own, as it were. The operatic style is never far from Mozart’s final works: his melodic lines, even in instrumental works, are drenched with lyricism.

Joseph Haydn

The ‘Imaginary Symphony No. 105’ cleverly connects seven of the most famous movements from various symphonies by Haydn. They all portray an object, thing or emotion. As a new unity, it provides a wonderous and surprising discovery through Haydn’s musical imagination.

The order in which they are presented, tells the story of life itself. We experience the conflict between ratio (The Philosopher) and emotion (La Passione), the hectic excitement of life (The Horn Signal) and our need for repose (Il Distratto). Above all, we feel the relentlessness of time (The Clock) that takes us to the ultimate end (Farewell). In the ‘Imaginary Symphony No. 105’, Haydn is our guide in the search for our humanity.