Dialogue with Mozart – a new work for orchestra by Péter Eötvös, premiered in Salzburg
In 2014, following an outstanding collaboration, I received a request from the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, to write a new work for the 150th anniversary of the ensemble's formation. I felt honoured and, instead of a cake with 175 candles, I composed a cheerful piece using Mozart themes and taking into account the orchestra's virtuosic abilities. And the icing on the cake was that the premiere happens to be in Salzburg!’ – thus wrote Peter Eötvös about the origins of Dialogue with Mozart – Da Capo for orchestra. This new work is an orchestral transcription of da capo (mit Fragmenten aus W. A. Mozarts Fragmenten) composed in 2014 for cimbalom or marimba and chamber ensemble. It will be premiered on 15 December 2016 in Salzburg, conducted by Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla.
The original meaning of da capo is: return to the beginning and start again. In this work it means, that from the opening theme a musical process begins, which reaches someplace, but does not end, beginning again and again in a different way, with different basic material, through nine stages. The initial themes originate in Mozart's notebook: fragments, ideas for themes, most of which did not become – at least in their sketched-out state--finished compositions. Peter Eötvös presents these themes to listeners in a clearly recognizable way, but immediately develops and transforms them. Mozart's themes are almost at once remodelled for a chamber orchestra the instruments of which were still unknown in the eighteenth century. Although listeners well-versed in the style of the classic Viennese period may find several musical gestures, rhythmic forms, chord successions and melodic patterns familiar, every musical element is heard as interpreted and developed by Eötvös. Further ideas have been born from Mozart’s ideas: astounding interplay of consonances and dissonances sounding together, special tone-colour surfaces and exciting tunes. Yet, these already go beyond stylistic play and do not belong to Mozart, rather to Peter Eötvös' musical world. These are his own thoughts in the dialogue with Mozart. (Tünde Szitha)