Vienna first. It is 1784: Mozart has been in the city for three years where he tries to make a living from his art. To achieve that goal there is but one solution. He has to win over the Viennese public: music lovers and the less musically-versed alike. But the composer has a trump card up his sleeve: the piano concerto which allows him to perform on the instrument himself—on which he is an unrivalled virtuoso—at concerts for his own financial gain. Between 1783 and 1784 no fewer than eight piano concertos rolled off his pen, all different, all miracles of inspiration, and all as instantly appealing as they were remarkably sophisticated. In that extraordinary series, the Concerto in F stands out with singular brilliance. The epitome of grace and playing with emotions as if they were colours, it is the quintessential example of Mozartian spirit and joie de vivre. In 1785, it was for Paris, but also for Vienna that Joseph Haydn composed the cycle of symphonies N°83 to N°86. The Queen in question was Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, but also the sister of the Austrian Emperor, Joseph II. The apotheosis of a classical style at its apogee, this symphony is also absolute proof of the originality, extraordinary charm, intelligence, and genius of a composer who all too often found himself unjustly eclipsed in the shadow of Mozart. Paris at last! Antonín Rejcha, or rather, Antoine Reicha since his relocation to the French capital in 1808, has primarily maintained a degree of musical renown for the quality of his pupils: Onslow, Liszt, Berlioz, Gounod, Viardot, and Franck to name a few… What would French music be without this man from Prague? His Overture, which certainly does him justice, is proof that his talents as a composer where as great as his aptitude as a teacher!
Orchestra of the Opéra national de Lorraine
Overture in D Major
Piano Concerto N°19 in F Major, K.459
Symphony N°85 in B Flat Major (popularly known as La Reine)