The surprising chamber Piano Concerto number 13 of Mozart with guest soloist Inon Barnatan helps launch the New Century Chamber Orchestra‘s ‘silver season’ – the ensemble is celebrating its 25th year (and the final season with Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg as Music Director) as their season begins tomorrow night in Berkeley. Barnatan says Mozart Piano Concertos hold a special place in his repertoire, among his most satisfying to play.
There’s more information about the concerts and season at the New Century Chamber Orchestra website.
Barnatan says the simplicity of the concerto is part of its appeal for him: “One of the unbelievable things about Mozart is how close it is to being ordinary. There’s really, on the face of it, nothing extraordinary about this or that moment, or this or that harmony. But the way that they unfold, you can’t help but be tremendously moved. That’ is one of the things that makes Mozart so impactful, is how pure and simple the mode of expression is, but how deep and meaningful and all-encompassing the meaning of it is.” This is one of three chamber concertos, which Mozart himself adapted for solo piano and strings. His joy in playing the concertos – especially with a small ensemble – comes from the many facets of music you can get from one piece. “It brings together what it is to play chamber music, to play with an orchestra, to be a singer,” Barnatan says. “They’re all together when you play these pieces… It’s hard for me to express, but I can tell you that the happiest moments that I have had as a performing musician have been at the keyboard of a Mozart Piano Concerto.”