Stavanger Symphony Orchestra has chosen the Voice as an underlying theme this season – it could also be said that the voice was an underlying theme of Mozart’s compositional works.

Although Mozart wrote for almost all kinds of instruments, ensembles and orchestras, opera was closest to his heart, with all of its drama, theater, intrigue and spectacular dance scenes. This was where Mozart could put his full compositional mastermind to work. It is also important to remember what time he lived in. While the classical concert (and the parties the composers had written for) had traditionally been for churches and noble castles,  the people had their own voice in the relatively free and popular opera and theaters. The composers were quite free to tell their own stories. Europe changed dramatically, the French Revolution was in full swing when Mozart wrote the “Magic Flute” for a small folk theater on the outskirts of Vienna. Mozart however, eventually became broke, and he died poor, and passed away after barely decade as a free artist, 35 years old.

Franz Schubert’s life was even shorter, and for Schubert himself most of it was a tragedy. The only thing left behind him was a list of worn out clothes and the music he had written. It was Robert Schumann who almost accidentally discovered the great score that turned out to be Symphony No. 9. Eventually, a lifetime of almost unprecedented greatness in music history was discovered. Chamber music, orchestral music, operas and oratorios, symphonies, and not to mention all the songs; poems arranged for voice and piano.

Almost none of Schubert’s work was printed or performed while he lived. We who enjoy his work now must be grateful to his older brother Ferdinand for taking care of the work Schubert had written throughout his life, and Robert Schumann, who rediscovered it.

Jan Willem de Vriend, conductor
Bror Magnus Tødenes, tenor

Mozart: Lucio Silla, overture
Mozart: Titus, Ah se fosse intorno al trono
Mozart: The Magic Flute, dies bildnis ist bezaubernd schön
Mozart: Adagio and fuge
Mozart: Titus, Se all’impero, amici Dei
Schubert: Symphony no. 9, C-sharp