Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra. Image by Nick Gilbert.
The second half of the 18th century was a time of extraordinary revolution in music. Composers were moving away from the strict formality of the Baroque era, creating a more melodic, expressionistic style. But what really accelerated the pace of change was the quality of the musicians. All over Europe, court orchestras were a status symbol among the nobility, nowhere moreso than at Mannheim (now in southwest Germany).
Mozart spent the winter of 1777-78 at Mannheim, where he met Christian Cannabich - the director and concertmaster of the court orchestra at the time - and the two remained friends for many years. The Horn Concertos could not have been written without the leaps in virtuosity made at Mannheim, as they require extraordinary technique such as lip trills, hand-stopping, and rapid tonguing. We are fortunate to hear one of the world's finest horn players, Anneke Scott, performing the Horn Concerto No. 3 for us.
Mannheim was also a huge influence on Haydn, who would use a number of techniques pioneered by the Mannheim school throughout his career, in particular their energetic rhythms, strong thematic material and powerful use of the orchestra.
And just as Mannheim saw a new musical style emerge, we are excited that this concert will feature emerging young performing from our Young Mannheim Symphonists youth orchestra program. The program is designed to provide opportunities for young musicians to experience the magic of historically-informed performance, inspiring the next generation of research and performance-based inquiry.
Other concerts in Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra's 2021 season: