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Rossini, Mozart, Bizet

Antonio Pappano leads the VFCO in a programme between whose fizzing Rossini and Bizet outer ends sits Mozart’s elegant Piano Concerto No. 26, with Mikhail Pletnev as soloist.


The Barber of Seville, overture

Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major K. 537 “Coronation”


GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875)
Symphony No. 1 in C major

Premiered in 1816, Rossini’s opera Il barbiere di Siviglia opens on an overture sparkling with twists, turns, pauses and explosions, and making good use both of the oboe and of the famous ‘Rossini crescendo,’ whereby a phrase is repeated while growing in speed and volume. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 dates from 1788, the year after his opera Don Giovanni. The violins introduce all three of its graceful first movement’s themes, before the piano leads the way for both the simple, songful Larghetto, and the grand rondo finale. There’s a Mozartian air to the ebullient first movement of Bizet’s Symphony in C, composed in 1855 when he was 17, and unperformed until its rediscovery in 1933. Next come an Adagio whose exotic theme is presented by oboe, and a bounding Scherzo with a trio coloured by pastoral drones. The playfully racing finale then contrasts a jaunty, Carmen-esque march against a smoother second theme.

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