Stephen Tong, Music Director
Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra
MOZART The Marriage of Figaro
MOZART Cosi fan tutte Overture
MOZART Don Giovanni
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
i. Poco sostenuto – vivace
iii. Presto – Assai meno presto
iv. Allegro con brio
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1756 | January 27 – 1791 | December 5
Duration approximately 16 minutes
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is undoubtedly one of the greatest prodigies in the classical music world. He started performing, touring around Europe, and even scribbled his first concerto at the age of five years old. He composed hundreds of different genres, including sonatas, concertos, symphonies, and operas.
Le Nozze de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is an Opera Buffa (Comic Opera) composed by Mozart in 1786, with libretto (text for opera) by Lorenzo da Ponte, one of the famous Italian librettists. In the story, Figaro and Susanna wish to get married, meanwhile Count Almaviva - their employer - tries to seduce Susanna. The opera starts with a bubbling bright overture (a piece to set the mood before the curtain was actually opened). The form of the overture is a shortened version of sonata (often called sonatina), without the development section. It starts with the exposition section, introducing two themes, then jumps to recapitulation restating the theme, which is then followed by a coda.
After the success of Le Nozze de Figaro in Vienna, Mozart and da Ponte wanted to make a new concept. Cosi Fan Tutte (They are All Like That) an idea derived from a real-life Viennese story, fulfilling Emperor Joseph II's long awaited suggestion. Don Alfonso and his friends attempted to prove that all women are the same in terms of infidelity. After informing the women that they are going to war, they arrange for two Albanian men to seduce the women. When the Albanians succeeded, this became a proof that Don Alfonso’s theory is right. The opera gained its popularity in the middle of the 20th century.
Don Giovanni premiered in Prague in 1787. As a noble yet arrogant man and a womanizer, Don Giovanni, abuses everybody until he encounters the punishment as a revenge from his action. Though Mozart himself classified this opera as Opera Buffa, Don Giovanni brings a totally different sound color to the stage which we can hear from the overture. The first few seconds of the overture shows the contrasting mood of dramma giocoso (drama with jokes) – very dark and tragic. It is then followed by energetic giocoso allegro to portray the Don Giovanni character.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
1770 | December 17 – 1827 | March 26
Duration approximately 40 minutes
In 1813, Symphony no. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 had its debut concert to benefit the wounded Austrian and Bavarian soldiers at the battle of Hanau in the Napoleonic Wars. Conducted by Beethoven himself, the performance was well applauded as one of the peak of his career. By popular demand, the entire concert was repeated days later, raising more funds for the wounded soldiers.
As his “most excellent symphony” - a claim made by the conductor himself, the symphony provides us with rich melody, accompanied by intense and energetic tune.
The first movement begins with the introduction in a slow tempo, introducing a grand chord played by the orchestra, hindering the continuous oboe over a 2-bar phrase. This pattern continued by clarinet, horn, and bassoon, which then landed on flowing string phrases. However, the Poco Sostenuto introduction does not last for long. Beethoven then brings in a very energetic Vivace into the first movement.
In a completely different character, the second movement is serious, revere, yet fervent and noble. After wind introduction, the solemn rhythmic theme was introduced by the lower strings, in a soft dynamic, making it even more interesting with the pattern of dactyl (long, short - short, long, long) which haunts throughout this Allegretto movement. Intensity kept on building as upper strings layered on top of the lower strings, which winds and brass followed suit.
In a bright and bounce-like skipping meter, the third movement - Presto | Assai Meno Presto - begins its term. The driving energy in this scherzo is as exciting and vibrant as it can be, depicting fun passages that can be found in many country dances.
Fourth movement - Allegro con brio - opens with a short yet loud 2 sets of 1 measure passage, announcing its grand
entrance, contrasting the energetic and vibrant music previously. The two chords introduction is like recalling the
beginning of Symphony No. 3 with a much more fun twist and followed by recurring theme of sixteenth notes that
forms the theme of the fourth movement. Its emphasis on the energized second beat gives the whole symphony a
fiery finale ending.
Written by Eunice Tong