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Mozart, in a letter, dated 31 July 1778, to his father, Leopold, wrote: ‘You know that I immerse myself in music, so to speak--that I think about it all day long---that I like experimenting--studying--reflecting.’
Our young soloist, Annemarie Federle, is also immersed in music. Currently studying for her ‘A’ Levels in Music, Chemistry and Mathematics, Annemarie was Principal Horn of the National Youth Orchestra for two years, playing under world-class conductors such as Sir Mark Elder and Marin Alsop. Last year, she was selected as a reserve member of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Annemarie was a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians and Britten Sinfonia Academy for three years. She also regularly plays with Junior Prime Brass, a local brass dectet. Annemarie has gained a reputation in the Cambridge music scene and often plays with Cambridge College orchestras.
As a soloist, Annemarie has performed both Strauss Horn Concertos, Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4 and the Gordon Jacob Horn Concerto. In 2018, she was a brass finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition. She started the horn at the age of seven taught by Christian Rutherford, and is now learning with Richard Watkins. She also plays piano, taught by Marie-Noëlle Kendall.
Annemarie is playing Mozart’s 2nd Horn Concerto in Eb. The Concerto, completed in 1783 was written for Mozart’s friend and virtuoso horn player, Joseph Leutgeb. He played first horn in the Salzburg court orchestra before settling in Vienna in 1777, where he ran a cheesemonger’s shop. The Concerto, the first Horn Concerto that Mozart wrote, has wonderful melodies and a very lively last movement.
We open our concert with the Overture to ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. Mozart famously composed the overture just a few hours before the opera’s premiere in 1786. Set in Spain, the plot of the opera is a tangled web of comedy, romance, misadventure and mistaken identity. It is one of the most frequently performed operas. The Overture to Così fan Tutti opens the 2nd half of our concert. First performed in 1790 this opera has a scurrilous plot but Mozart’s music is glorious.
The ‘Haffner’ Symphony had its origins in the ‘Haffner’ Serenade. Mozart had been commissioned, in 1776, to compose this serenade for the wedding of Franz Xaver Späth and Maria Elisabeth Haffner, daughter of the mayor of Salzburg, Sigmund Haffner. Six years later when Mozart was about to marry Constanze, he composed another serenade for the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner Junior as ‘Edler von Innbachhausen’. Mozart composed this serenade as a symphony. The symphony was based on the Haffner Serenade but omitted some of the movements. Written in the same year as ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’, the final theme of the ‘Haffner’ Symphony has its origins in Osim’s aria ‘Ha, wie will ich triumphieren’ (Ha, how I will triumph’.)
Mozart’s Symphony no 40 is one of only two of his numbered symphonies written in a minor key. Composed in 1788, this symphony reflects his interest in the artistic movement known as Sturm und Drang(Storm and Stress), in which darker and stronger emotions were showcased. At this time, Viennese audiences were less keen to hear Mozart’s concerts; bills were accumulating; and, his infant daughter, Theresa, had just died. Although his sombre feelings are portrayed, listen out for graceful and elegant melodies in the first and second movements.