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Mozart's Mass in C minor, with pre-concert talks by Robert Levin and David Dolan

Saturday February 17, 2024 at 19:30
St Giles, Cripplegate, London
£20, £15 (concessions)
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Mass in C minor, 'The Great' K 427 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, completed by Robert Levin

It’s the nearest you’ll get to meeting Mozart

Have you ever wondered what it is like to walk in the footsteps of a genius? On February 17 2024 at St Giles’ Cripplegate, Eclectic Voices Choir and the Covent Garden Orchestra will present a fascinating programme that goes right to the heart of how music is made and performed, how it is created and what an audience actually hears. The two ensembles will be joined by conductor Scott Stroman and world renowned musicologist, composer and pianist Robert Levin, who embarked on one of the most daunting endeavours imaginable in music – to complete a piece of music left unfinished by Mozart.

The piece in question, the Mass in C minor, composed in 1782-83 but left incomplete, consisted of just the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus. Levin will explain how by a process of investigation, deduction, re-repurposing and imagination he managed its completion. What emerged is akin to a sympathetic completion of a historic building, where the new addition is distinct but beautifully complementary.

An aperitif to the performance will be provided by David Dolan, Professor of Classical Improvisation at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, illustrating techniques of embellishment and improvisation employed in Mozart's time.

Today, improvisation is most associated with jazz, and there are few musicians more conversant in both jazz and classical musical language than Scott Stroman. Scott insists that those musical sensibilities most apparent in jazz are applicable to all other forms and strongly influence the way he approaches conducting a classical piece.

Working in jazz means that you have to inhabit the rhythmic language of whatever you're doing as well as the harmonic language. We improvise on those materials, and so to know them and to feel them, and to work in a small group without a director or conductor, as we often do, means that you have to be secure. Bringing that into classical music is easy for me - it feels exactly like the way that Mozart or Bach would have worked themselves, working with musicians, writing and changing things as you go along. Indeed, improvising. This excites me - I bring things that I learn from working with Mozart into jazz and vice versa. On top of this, the choral aspect is really important: in order to sing in a choir, you have to hear the music inside of yourself. I get very excited to recreate what we can see and hear in a thrilling score like this for a live audience.”

The pre-concert talk will be at 19:30. There will be a short interval at about 20:00, followed by the Mozart performance. The ticket price covers both the pre-concert talk and the performance.

Eclectic Voices, the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, conductor Scott Stroman and soloists from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama present Mozart's Mass in C minor at 7.30 on Saturday 17 February at St. Giles Cripplegate.

St Giles, Cripplegate
Fore Street, Barbican

This advertisement was submitted by Eclectic Voices Society.
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