Piano Concerto No. 20, KV 466
Symphony No. 41, KV 551 ‘Jupiter’
Maria João Pires, piano
Orquestra Simfònica Camera Musicae
Tomàs Grau, conductor
A CONCERT WITH A SOUND OF OPERA
No, you are not listening to Don Giovanni, but it seems so. More than one music lover can be confused when listening to the beginning of Piano Concerto No. 20, and not only because of the key of D minor that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart uses, just like in opera and in the well-known Requiem. This concerto, written in 1785, is considered his most dramatic concerto for piano and orchestra and transports us to Don Giovanni’s operatic aesthetic. One of the season’s top shows features virtuoso excellence from one of Mozart’s best piano players, Maria João Pires.
Mozart wrote his last three symphonies in the summer of 1788. Symphony No. 41 ended that cycle. The nickname ‘Jupiter’ was the brainchild of musician and businessman Peter Salomon, who had intended to take Mozart on a London tour, but the composer’s death cut short the trip. Four notes mark the beginning of the last movement, which has a structure of the fugue sonata – a four note motif that had been used by other composers – but the climax of the symphony comes at the final coda: after listening to five themes throughout the movement, they sound masterfully simultaneous.
Biography Maria João Pires
Born on 23rd July, 1944 in Lisbon, Maria João Pires gave her first public concert at the age of 4; She began her music and piano studies with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, later continuing in Germany with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel. In addition to her concerts, she has been recording for the Erato record label for fifteen years and Deutsche Grammophon for twenty years.
Since the 1970s, Pires has been dedicated to reflecting the influence of art on life, community, and education, trying to discover new ways to establish this way of thinking in society, which looks for new ways, respecting the development of individuals and cultures and to promote the exchange of ideas.
In 1999, Miria created the Belgais Center in Portugal, dedicated to the study of the Arts, where she regularly offers interdisciplinary workshops for professional musicians and music lovers. Concerts and recordings are frequently held in the Belgais concert hall; in the future these will be shared with the international digital community.
Six years ago, the pianist started two complementary projects in Belgium: the Coros Partitura, a project that creates and develops choirs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and the Talleres Partitura Workshops. All these projects aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists from different generations, proposing an alternative to a world that is too focused on competitiveness. These projects, workshops and philosophy are already spreading everywhere.