Composing Mozart

30 October 2012, 20:00 - 21:30

West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music

The lecture-recitals and Open Rehearsal are free and open to all; no registration is required.

Pianist and conductor Robert Levin will give a series of public lecture-recitals on Encountering Mozart at the Faculty of Music in addition to participating in an Open Rehearsal with performers from the Academy of Ancient Music. This will be followed by a public performance in the West Road Concert Hall on the evening of Wednesday 31 October 2012.

Lecture-recital 2: Composing Mozart

In his second lecture-recital, Professor Levin will discuss the various completions that he has provided to a wide range of Mozart fragments, from small piano pieces to concerto movements and the Requiem and C-minor Mass.

No other major composer left such a wide range of musical torsos at his death as did Mozart - over 140. One-third of the works composed in the last decade in Vienna, and one-fifth of his total output consists of such fragments. Alan Tyson’s research into the paper types used by Mozart in the notation of his music revealed that numerous finished works were fragments that remained unfinished for as long as ten years. This gives insight into Mozart’s creative process. The author has completed a considerable number of these fragments over a period of nearly forty-five years. The challenge of assimilating the various elements of Mozart’s style, noted in conjunction with the previous lecture, will be considered in the context of one of Mozart’s most weighty unfinished works, the Mass in C minor K427. Composed in 1782-83 in the style of a grand cantata mass, its proportions are matched only by Bach’s Mass in B minor and Beethoven’s Missa solemnis. We shall consider the background to the composition of the Mass, its first incomplete performance in Salzburg on 26 October 1783, the state of the work as transmitted by surviving sources, how it is possible to deduce the number and scope of the missing movements, and the process by which a completion could be attempted. There will be demonstrations at the keyboard as well as examples drawn from a recording of the work directed by Helmuth Rilling, who conducted the world premiere at Carnegie Hall on 15 January 2005. (The UK premiere of the completion took place on 8 September 2006 in London at the Proms under the direction of Sir Charles Mackerras.)

Events in this series: 

Humanitas
Improvising Mozart
29 October 2012, West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chamber Music 2012: Robert Levin

Composing Mozart
30 October 2012, West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chamber Music 2012: Robert Levin

Open Rehearsal with Robert Levin and AAM
31 October 2012, West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chamber Music 2012 Robert Levin rehearses works by Mozart and Beethoven with the Academy of Ancient Music.

Robert Levin and the AAM perform works by Mozart and Beethoven
31 October 2012, West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chamber Music 2012 Robert Levin performs works by Mozart and Beethoven with the Academy of Ancient Music.

he Humanitas Chair in Chamber Music has been made possible by the generous support of Mr Lawrence Saper.

The Humanitas Chair in Chamber Music will bring world-renowned performers to Cambridge to share insights into the character as well as the challenges of musical performance, explaining not only their own approach to a range of musical masterpieces but also the consequences for listeners of their interpretative choices. These 'behind the scene' observations will be complemented by actual performances, whether in masterclasses, open rehearsals, lecture-recitals or concerts.

Previous Humanitas Visiting Professors in Chamber Music

2010-11: Alfred Brendel (pianist, music critic, poet and painter)

Standing Committee

John Rink (Music; AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice)
Nicholas Cook (Music)   
Iain Fenlon (Music)
Martin Ennis (Music)
Edward Wickham (St Catharine’s College; Music)    
David Mawson (AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice)
George Unsworth (West Road Concert Hall)

Hosting College

Peterhouse