Why, with our wealth of talented musicians, is the Australian Chamber Orchestra playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 13 as a Piano Quintet in our national Intimate Mozart tour?
It’s a fair question. Many listeners have been enrapt by powerful renditions from greats such as Alfred Brendel and Mitsuko Uchida, who use full orchestration to bring scale and power to the work.
But, as is often the case, Richard Tognetti has looked to history to forge new ground.
While performing this as a chamber piece may seem strange to modern audiences, Mozart himself wrote it with this as an option – not an uncommon practice at the time of its composition. With smaller rooms making up most of Vienna’s venues, Mozart offered the piece to the public as a concerto that could be ‘performed with full Orchestra, or simply a quattro’.
Our stripped take for this performance will allow Kristian Bezuidenhout’s piano to intricately weave through a string quartet comprising our Principal players, letting audiences glimpse what they may have heard in Vienna in the late 1700s.
We’re delighted to have our ACO principals giving this lesser-known version a proper exploration.
Intimate Mozart tours nationally until July 9, with performances from Kristian Bezuidenhout and a quartet of ACO Principals led by Richard Tognetti.