Mozart: the Virtuoso’s View
As Mozart’s reputation grew in the nineteenth century, three great virtuosos of the pianoforte recomposed his overtures, symphonies and concertos, adding many more notes to suit a more flamboyant style of playing on a much larger instrument. But instead of a full orchestra, Clementi, Cramer and Hummel wrote for a quartet of piano, violin, flute and cello. On nineteenth-century instruments the results are both exciting and beautiful.
It was Clementi’s 1823 arrangement of Mozart’s last symphony that first named it ‘The Jupiter’, which certainly shows how influential these recompositions and arrangements were. They were all published in London, where the piano/violin/flute/cello ensemble was enormously popular: Haydn & Beethoven symphonies, overtures from Auber to Weber, selections from oratorios and opera, and even the Mendelssohn Octet!
Caroline Balding (violin), Katy Bircher (flute), Andrew Skidmore (cello) and I (on my 1828 Broadwood) have just recorded the demo for the Jupiter Project: Mozart’s C major Concerto K.467 arranged by Cramer, and his Jupiter Symphony arranged by Clementi. The Jupiter Project as a whole will incorporate concerts, workshops, CD recordings and video, relating to the remarkable body of nineteenth-century chamber-music arrangements, not just of Mozart, but of much of the core orchestral repertory.
Here are some samples:
From the first movement of K.467, arranged by Cramer
From the famous second movement
And the beginning of the wonderful fugal finale of the Jupiter Symphony, arranged by Clementi