Sir Roger Norrington conducts Mozart

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2013/14

Tuesday 25th March

Symphony Hall

Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Sir Roger Norrington conductor
Jonathan Biss piano

Mozart Symphony No 1 in E flat 13’
Piano Concerto No 21 29’
Symphony No 41, Jupiter 31’

Over a revolutionary career, Sir Roger Norrington has changed the very way we hear the music of the classical period. And as he enters his ninth decade, his performances are as revelatory as ever. Symphony Hall is proud to host his official eightieth birthday concert, as he directs his Zurich Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s first and last symphonies – and partners Jonathan Biss in one of Mozart’s most eloquent concertos.

Classic FM’s John Suchet says:

This evening it’s the turn of a great British conductor who celebrates his 80th birthday this month. Famed for his extraordinary performances using period instruments, Sir Roger Norrington has worked tirelessly to play music in the way that it was originally conceived. With three of Mozart’s best-loved pieces, this concert will no doubt be a glimpse into what the composer might have envisaged his audiences would hear when he wrote these great works.



Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

Click here for full review

…     “The showman is still there – in the way that he prompted the fugal entries at the end of the finale of K551, like a conjuror displaying his prowess to his fans – while some of the fine detail, such as the little crescendos and diminuendos in the opening bars of the same symphony, was fascinating. But it was all a bit subdued – the Jupiter really needs to bristle and swagger a bit more than Norrington allowed.

In between there was a piano concerto, the C major, K467, with Jonathan Biss as soloist. Biss played with his back to the audience, Norrington seated at the other end of the piano facing him, and the orchestra in semicircles around them. It conveyed a real sense of chamber music-like intimacy, and the performance had a fresh, lively feeling. Tempi were generally on the quick side – the slow movement seemed more like an allegretto than an andante, with no suggestion of the dreamy idyll that some pianists create – though the concerto was never driven hard; Biss seemed happy to go along with Norrington’s laid-back approach.”



Review by David Fay, Bachtrack (for same programme  but at Cadogan Hall, London)

Click here for full review


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