Wednesday, 1.1.2025
5.00 pm

Flauto Favoloso

NEW YEAR’S CONCERT

Maurice Steger, recorder
Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor

In this New Year’s Concert, the recorder player Maurice Steger and the Swiss Orchestra will whirl us into the New Year with a bang. You can expect to start 2025 with a musical surprise and some of the best-loved New-Year classics!

Prices: CHF 135 / 105 / 85 / 60 / 45

Programme

Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder:
Symphony in E-flat major

Anton Heberle:
Concerto for recorder and orchestra in G major

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Divertimento in F major K. 522 (A musical joke)

Antonio Vivaldi:
Concerto for recorder in G major op. 10/6 RV 437

Fabian Müller:
Fantasia folcloristica

Johann Strauss (Son):
Tik-Tak Polka

Johann Strauss (Father):
Radetzky March

About the programme

When you compose music according to classical rules, you need a thorough knowledge of counterpoint, its techniques and principles. The voice-leading has to be logical and singable, you should avoid excessive, unpleasant leaps, and you should make sure that the voices are all well balanced. Parallel fifths and octaves between two voices are forbidden, it’s essential to treat the leading notes correctly, and harmonic progressions and chord changes have to be logical and tonally satisfying; you should employ different possibilities for motivic development (such as repetition, variation and contrast); and of course rhythm, form, dynamics, articulation, tone colour and expression also have to keep the listener interested. Mostly importantly: despite all the rules, you have to stay supple and flexible, otherwise your work won’t sound inspired at all, and you’ll run the risk of being mocked by Mozart himself. For in his Divertimento K. 522, entitled A musical joke, Mozart took aim at all those amateur composers who lacked the necessary technical skills and musical imagination.

In this satire on the symphony, Mozart plays with his audience’s expectations. Much of the music here sounds clumsy, unimaginative, oblique and off-kilter. It’s also too slow – having been adjusted to the abilities of his musicians – while the horns don’t hit the right notes, and the most important theme in the trio of the second movement is a scale spanning two octaves. To be sure, compositional techniques, styles and tastes have changed over the centuries, but all the composers featured in the New Year’s Concert of the Swiss Orchestra were masters of their craft and at the height of their powers. This applies as much to the early Classical composer Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder from Lucerne as to the Venetian Baroque hero Antonio Vivaldi, to Anton Heberle (about whose biography we know little more than that he is said to have invented a walking-stick-cum-recorder in Vienna), and to Johann Strauss, both father and son of the same name (though certain purists might disagree with their inclusion here). Maurice Steger excels on the recorder, demonstrating just how beautiful in tone, delicate, clear and pure this instrument is, which on account of its more recent use in early music education is probably just about the most underestimated instrument in music history. The fabulous recorder – flauto favoloso – will thus be ringing in 2025 in Andermatt. Happy New Year!

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