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Pianist and scholar Robert Levin appeared with us last night in two concerts (a 7pm and a Night Shift) and today has been on a bit of a media blitz, appearing on Radio 4′s Today programme and the World Service too. There’s also something in the Evening Standard.
The reason? Well Robert has been talking about two things. Last night he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 with us, and Robert’s research strongly points to it being written for a pupil of his, Barbara Ployer, something previously unknown. One of the reasons he suspects this is that he found a coda written for the piece, which was intended for Barbara, and this coda hasn’t been performed for at least 200 years. But alongside this, Robert has been talking about how we perform Mozart these days. Modern performance very much sticks to what is written on the page, with no deviation. But Robert argues that in Mozart’s day there would have been a lot of free rein given to the soloist, to embellish the basic musical line, improvise around it etc. In fact, Robert, argues that his hero, Duke Ellington, is really like a modern-day Mozart.
Robert is performing the Concerto with us again on 4 October, as part of our very first The Works event. In the event he’ll be joined by presenter Suzy Klein, and the first half of the concert will be given over to a ‘guided tour’ of the concerto. More on the event in this previous blog post.
Here’s Robert talking about the concerto, plus links to today’s coverage.
Our late-night series, The Night Shift, was featured on Radio 4′s 10pm news programme, The World Tonight, on Friday. You can listen to the piece here, it’s 37 minutes into the programme.
This morning Radio 4′s Today programme ran a feature on The Night Shift and informal concerts – interviewing conductor Vladimir Jurowski and OAE Leaders Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott. You can listen to it here. Is it just us or is the question about pay completely random and unconnected?!