A Barenboim family concert featuring Mozart

There are many ways to play Mozart, but for me one of the most authentic interpretations has always been the legendary Daniel Barenboim. He’s the kind of musician who, when playing, can be seen as the reincarnation of the erstwhile child prodigy. For those who don’t believe it, now is the time to find out, as Müpa Budapest promises a real musical sensation with a concert of Mozart’s works by Daniel and Michael Barenboim. The father and son have released several albums together, playing alongside other renowned artists. But this will be the first time they have performed together in Budapest for a truly memorable concert experience.

Looking at Daniel Barenboim’s concert calendar this year, the octogenarian conductor is still busy performing in concert halls in Berlin, Paris, Milan, Luxembourg and many other parts of the world. His outstanding energy and brilliant form were already on testimony at the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert on the first day of the year, during which he also stole my heart by emphasising the role of journalists in promoting classical music and therefore creating a special music block for the press.

Can a musician who has put Mozart’s works at the centre of his career receive any greater recognition than that:

“If he composed, he could be the new Mozart.”

This is what a musician from the Berlin Philharmonic once said about the legendary Daniel Barenboim. Like Mozart, there is nothing in music that he can’t execute. Among other things, Barenboim dispels the stereotype of conductors as “not playing an instrument, not making a noise, and yet giving the impression of making music.” And he often plays with the orchestra, directing the musicians from behind the piano. He shares his enthusiasm between his instrument and the artists, and it’s worth searching for some of his recordings on YouTube. Look at this, for instance:

Music, like that of Mozart, came to him in the family, learning to play the piano from his parents, so playing together must have been as familiar to him as it was to the little wunderkind. Born in Argentina, he emigrated with his parents to Israel and has lived for many years in Berlin, Germany. In addition to the 2019 Konrad Adenauer Prize, he is the recipient of numerous awards received in Germany. When he was awarded the prize in the city of Cologne, his ability to bring people from different cultures together through music was praised. His work and involvement is extremely diverse, and he was even seen as the Olympic flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Daniel Barenboim is an accomplished performer of Mozart, who not only understands his music, but also feels it to the full and plays it in a very unique style.

He is a passionate conductor who wants to hear from the orchestra the same subtleties that he can express through his piano playing.

A special feature of the Müpa’s concert is that he and his son Michael Barenboim, born in Paris in 1985 from his second marriage, will play Mozart’s works together, making it a genuine family chamber music, something that was common in the legendary composer’s family. For Michael Barenboim, chamber music is his preferred genre, but he also performs solo around the world.

Michael Barenboim. (c) Janine Escher

He also works as a university lecturer, teaching violin to his students at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin, where he also holds the post of Dean. He also teaches in Spain, Australia and New Zealand. His mother is Elena Bashkirova, pianist.

What can we expect at the concert? Sonatas for piano and violin, mainly from the thirty-six that Mozart wrote for this instrumental pair. This genre is a great choice for the concert programme, as the first sonatas are family-related, Mozart began composing them with his father and sister, so the father and son playing will take the audience back to this time. Opinions are divided as to whether the piano accompanies the violin or the violin accompanies the piano in these pieces, or whether the two instruments are of equal status, but it is best to listen to these two excellent performers and form your own opinion. An excellent example of Mozart’s musical ingenuity, the G minor variations (six variations) on the French song “Au bord d’une fontaine” / “Hélas, j’ai perdu mon amant” will also be performed in the concert.

Get your tickets for the concert!

Article: Anna Rácz

Translation: Nóra Fehér