The great Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen debuts at the MSO with the thrilling sounds of Mahler’s First Symphony, Mozart’s third violin concerto and the overture to Wagner’s operaTannhäuser.
Mozart’s musical love affair with the violin started and stopped
early in the composer’s life, while he was still a teenager, in fact.
Five violin concertos would be completed by the end of 1775, when he was
just 19, and then he never wrote another. Compositionally Mozart moved
on to the piano and whenever he played a stringed instrument, he chose
the viola – as he did when playing in a quartet with composer Joseph
Haydn on first violin, in the 1780s.
His Violin Concerto No. 3 is demonstrably different from the
previous pieces, which, while brilliant were more conventional. The
third is suddenly more expansive, more experimental and somehow more
personal. It is also a wonderful showcase for a violinist and
Japanese–Canadian Karen Gomyo returns to display its ranging qualities.
A composer who consistently ranks on Melbourne’s favourite composer
lists, Gustav Mahler is as important as he is popular. He reaches back
to the Classical and Romantic masters before him, but also points the
way music was to go. Those reflections of both the past and glimpses of
the future are heard in his first symphony, titanic and awe-inspiring.
The program opens with Wagner’s overture to one of his first operas, the 1845 Tannhäuser.
A musical summary of the entire work, this overture is one of
orchestral vignettes – depicting the tale of seduction and sacred
devotion to come. Wagner himself called this music, “sensuously
Conducting, in his MSO debut, is Finnish maestro Pietari Inkinen, who dazzled Melbourne as conductor of Opera Australia’sRing Cycle in 2016.