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About the program

Change of programme

The concert programme has changed: instead of the originally announced harpsichord concerto by C. P. E. Bach, we will present Mozart’s piano concerto in C major (K. 246), a piece relatively seldom performed at concerts. Jos van Immerseel, who will lead the Baroque ensemble of the Festival Orchestra at the concert, will play the piece on the ancestor of the modern piano, the fortepiano, for which Mozart originally composed the concerto.

The first few of Mozart’s twenty-seven piano concertos can seldom be heard in concert halls because the “mature” Mozart’s pieces in the genre have proved unsurpassable—and offer countless occasions for the soloist to show their skills to advantage.

Mozart wrote this piece in 1776, and the series of “great” piano concertos would begin barely a year later, with the next concerto, the K. 271 “Jeunhomme,” which was composed for a young lady of great aptitude, who was called Jeunhomme (or rather, Jenamy). The byname of our programme piece refers, again, to the performer: it was dedicated to Countess Antonia Lützow, who was not one of the great pianists of her age. Her husband was the commander of Hohensalzberg Castle, and she was a student of the young Mozart. Mozart would later also have other students play the piece, which he even took with himself to Mannheim, with a view to playing it there.

C. Ph. E. Bach: Hamburger Sinfonien (Two Hamburg Symphonies)

“Bach is the father. We are the children!” – said Mozart’s patron, Baron Gottfried van Swieten. However, the Bach in question was not Johann Sebastian, as the future generation would think, but his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel born in 1714.
C. Ph. E. Bach entered the services of Frederick the Great in 1740, he worked as a cembalist in the Potsdam court, but this position did not satisfy him, the young musician worthy of much more was particularly frustrated by the circumstances. His opportunities were rather limited: the wars of Frederick and his limited musical taste undermined the quality of musical life.
One of his admirers was Gottfried van Swieten, ambassador in Berlin, who was at the same time Mozart’s patron, the librettist of the great oratories of Haydn and the patron of young Beethoven, who also commissioned him to compose symphonies.
In 1768 he finally accepted an offer in Hamburg, and took the position of his godfather, Telemann.
As regards the Hamburg symphonies, Friedrich Reichardt conducting the first performances of the pieces in 1773 wrote in his biography: “Everybody was fascinated with these pieces. (…) It is unlikely that a genial composer could in the future come up with wittier, more daring and more humorous music. Keeping these masterpieces in some private collection would be a real loss for art.”

J. Haydn: Ariadne at Naxos

In addition to composing several songs which were very popular during his stay in London and his last years in Vienna, Joseph Haydn also composed cantatas, a fashionable genre in those times. His cantata Ariadne at Naxos might have been composed at the end of the period spent in Eszterháza, supposedly in 1789-1790 . The cantata was premiered in 1791 during Haydn’s first stay in London. Originally it was composed for soprano and fortepiano, the orchestral accompaniment came later.


Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Symphony in B and A, Hamburger Sinfonien, Wq 182
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano concerto No. 8 in C major, K. 246 “Lutzow”
Joseph Haydn: Ariadne at Naxos, Cantata


Jos van Immerseel


Jos van Immerseel, conductor and harpischord
Marianne Beate Kielland, mezzo-soprano