Mozart's Great Mass in C minor
Before his famous Requiem, Mozart wrote the great Mass in C minor. It is a magnificent piece with dramatic choral movements and divinely beautiful solo parts. Daniel Harding, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Choir offer Mozart at his best.
Ahead of Mozart’s visit back home to Salzburg with fiancé Constanze in 1783, he’d promised to write a new mass which would become Mass in C minor. The mass wasn’t finished on time, so at the premiere, it was completed with a section from his previous masses. Constanze herself was the soprano soloist at the premiere. The great mass in C minor is now considered to be one of Mozart’s best works.
Benjamin Britten wrote song cycle Serenade for a tenor soloist, French horn and string orchestra in the 1940s, while the war raged. The songs depict the different sides of night: dark and frightening, but also calm and safe.
The concert begins with a brief symphony; Mozart’s Symphony No. 32 in G major, vivacious and full of life, like all good concert openers should be!
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”
The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.
For more than 90 years, the Swedish Radio Choir has contributed to the development of the Swedish a cappella tradition. Under the leadership of legendary conductor Eric Ericson, the choir earned great international renown. It is still hailed as one of the best choirs in the world. The choir members’ ability to switch between powerful solo performances and seamlessly integrating themselves in the ensemble creates a unique and dynamic instrument praised by critics and music lovers alike, as well as by the many guest conductors who explore and challenge the choir’s possibilities.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Choir since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the choir reaches millions of listeners on the radio and the web through Klassiska konserten i P2. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top choirs.
With the 2020–2021 season, Kaspars Putniņš begins his tenure as the tenth Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir. Since January 2019, Marc Korovitch is the choirmaster of the Swedish Radio Choir with responsibility for the ensemble’s continued artistic development. Two of the orchestra’s former Music Directors, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra, were appointed Conductors Laureate in November 2019. Both maintain a close relationship with the choir and make regular guest appearances.
The Swedish Radio Choir was founded the same year as the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and the choir had its first concert in May 1925. Right from the start, the choir had high ambitions with a conscious aim to perform contemporary music.
Daniel Harding is Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom in 2022 he celebrated his 15-year anniversary. In the 2014/15 season he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival, presenting a series of concerts and related inspirational talks involving artists, academics, scientists and philosophers. As Artistic Director he continues this type of influential programming at Berwaldhallen. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years.
A renowned opera conductor, he has led critically acclaimed productions at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He continues to work regularly with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi Festival.
Daniel Harding’s tenure as Music and Artistic Director will last throughout the 2024/25 season. “It is increasingly rare that the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra not only lasts for more than a decade, but keeps growing,” he says about working with the orchestra. “It is also rare for an orchestra of the highest musical standard to very obviously want to keep on growing.”
After playing the trumpet in his youth, he discovered conducting as a teenager. 17 years old, he led a performance of Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire with a student ensemble, which led to assisting Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a year. His time with Rattle and the orchestra ended with Harding’s professional debut, conducting the orchestra himself.
In 2002, Harding was awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, and in 2017 nominated to the position Officier des Arts et Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2021, he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is also a qualified airline pilot.
Andrew Staples is an acclaimed and versatile singer who sings regularly with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding and Yannick Nézet-Séguin and orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniekr, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Wiener Philharmoniker. He has made several lauded performances in Berwaldhallen, including Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Alan Gilbert during the Baltic Sea Festival 2019 and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius conducted by Daniel Harding the same autumn. In opera, he is a regular guest at the Royal Opera House in London where he has sung Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Flammand in Capriccio, Narraboth in Salome and Artabanes in Artaxerxes.
In December 2019, Staples made a strong debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Andres in Berg’s Wozzeck. A month later he was praised once again, when he on short notice was summoned for Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Gustavo Dudamel and the New York Philharmonic. He has recorded several large works such as John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and Bohuslav Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh. Staples is also a multifaceted director, from staging classics like Così fan tutte and La bohème in London to Handel’s Dido and Aeneas in a dance club with Kiez Oper in Berlin, as well as a production for the Choir of London interweaving Britten’s classic Hymn to St Cecilia with depositions from Palestinian detainees. In the winter of 2021 Staples made the film Siegfried Idyll in collaboration with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.
Chris Parkes is a horn soloist with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also principal horn player of the John Wilson Orchestra and former principal of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Furthermore, he performs with the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Philharmonia Orchestra London and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Parkes has appeared as a soloist with, among others, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra led by John Wilson, Gianandrea Noseda and Daniel Harding. He has participated in chamber music projects and recordings with, for example, Anne Sofie von Otter, pianists Gwilym Simcock and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as well as with ensembles including Superbrass, the Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble and Fine Arts Brass. Parkes studied at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he has also been teaching since 2011.
Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission
Rosa Feola, soprano has unfortunately cancelled her participation.
MONICA Z - FOREVER AND EVER
Nordic Weeks: A Drama in the Air
Britta Byström’s fresh orchestral work A Drama in the Air opens this concert, followed by Bo Linde’s rarely performed cello concerto featuring award-winning cellist Amalie Stalheim, and Geirr Tveitt’s A Hundred Hardanger Tunes.
Nordic Weeks: Broman & Börtz
Malin Broman does double duty in Daniel Börtz’s Double Concerto for One, and acclaimed singers Johanna Wallroth and Jeremy Carpenter feature in Carl Nielsen’s third symphony, conducted by Alan Gilbert.