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This orchestra was founded in 1841 by Constanza, Mozart’s widow, and sons Franz Xaver and Karl Thomas. It has since evolved into an orchestra which is expert in the modern interpretation of pieces from the Viennese Classical period, and is today one of Austria’s leading Symphony Orchestras.
Besides its role in the Mozart Festival, other concerts, and in operatic productions, it has also introduced Interactive Workshops and Open Rehearsals in order to involve the younger generation in this music.This latter aim is very much in line with other prestigious orchestras who have workshops and programmes designed to educate children from childhood onwards.
I became interested in this orchestra without knowing anything of its background merely because I loved its sound---and attack! I was listening to Mozart videos at the time and very much liked this orchestra’s interpretations. There were two conductors, the first being Hubert Soudant, who was their principal conductor in the period 1994 to 2004. The second, a guest conductor was Frans Brüggen, who is well known to us---both are Dutch by birth.
As expected, the results were different with the difference in styles of the two conductors, but some things didn’t change, including the absolute attention and rapport between players and their director, and also the beautiful instrumental sound. This latter is is understandable in the light of my further reading, when at a later date Soudant took over the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (2004-2014). He literally took it to pieces in order to improve each instrument’s sound--- and the Orchestra was re-born! No wonder the tonal quality of the Mozarteum Orchestra was so good after having a decade of Hubert Soudant’s direction!
The first video I’d like to post is Mozart no 28 KV 2000, played at the Salzburg Festival, and directed by Hubert Soudant. It is lovely, light and crisp in approach, His conducting style is clear and he obviously feels the rhythm. There is absolute attention from the players and the instrumental sound is very pleasing. Also the filming is excellent----as it is for the following videos, too.
Next, Symphony No 25 KV,183, by the same orchestra, but directed by Frans Brüggen. This belongs to Mozart's Sturm and Drang period and shows elements of this. It begins with a beautiful oboe solo---and it is obvious throughout that Mozart loves the woodwind section! Instrumental sound is clear and sonorous. I loved this, particularly both for the sounds, the melodies and skillful mood and tempo changes.
Lastly, this video is of Haydn Symphony in A Major, the same orchestra performing, and Hubert Soudant, again, conducting.
The performance is spirited light and rhythmic the music dances along . The woodwinds are again favoured for solo passages and interjection----the flute and the oboe, in this piece. I loved the beautiful melodies which came and went and the chance hearing of one instrument’s voice after another---great!
As in all these videos the orchestra followed the conductor’s direction of mood faithfully and there were some beautiful passages.
The responsiveness of this orchestra, its spirited approach and rhythms, as well as the beauty of its sound make listening to it a delight. I also enjoyed watching the players, and the interactions and enjoyment of the concertmaster!
Post subject: Re: The Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg.
Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:16 pm
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:08 pm Posts: 684 Location: Queens, New York
There is some great music here.The Mozart Symphony no.25 is the work the is used to open Milos Forman's film Amadeus. The Haydn is one of his more familiar Paris Symphonies. I never heard of Hubert Soudant but I am impressed with his conducting here. Thanks.
Thank you for your reply. I'm glad that you liked the performances of the Mozarteum Orchestra and the style of conducting and pleasant personality of its conductor, Hubert Soudant. It is very obvious that he enjoys conducting each piece!
As far as I was concerned he had "slipped under the radar", which isn't difficult with my degree od ignorance music-wise, but I am surprised that you were not aware of him, as you have a much wider knowledge of musical matters.
His career is impressive, with directorships of orchestras and operas well-known in their own areas of the globe, also guest conductorships of internationally acclaimed orchestra.
Later, after leaving the Mozarteum Orchestra he continued to make his mark with a decade spent with the Tokyo Symphony orchestra. he completed his term with them in July 2004 but was made a laureate conductor so would be returning from time to time. He left an orchestra in fine fettle with one critic summing it up thus----->
"At those shows, the audience really could hear the culmination of a decade-long collaboration between Soudant and the TSO. The clear sound and structure of the music came from each player’s good pitch, rhythm and balance, all thanks to Soudant’s strict, yet lively baton. Hearing these classics in such a fresh way will be Soudant’s legacy".
He had completely changed the orchestra's sound on taking over, by concentating on and improving the sound of each individual player---also to communicate with each other thro' their instruments.
Jonathon Nott, the English conductor was to take over from there. it will be interesting to see how and what he changes, and the differences that emerge, won't it? I must remember to listen to the TSO!!
PS Thinking of you today and hopefully all will go smoothly and well.
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