September 3, 2021
From the very first chords, you hear that something special is about to happen. That is exactly right, because in his 'Gran partita', Mozart offers you the best he has composed in the serenade field. In each of the seven movements, he paints a different musical picture, sometimes exuberant, sometimes meditative and tranquil. One of the most famous movements is the 'Adagio', which you may know from the film 'Amadeus' (1984). The combination of instruments that Mozart prescribed is extra special about the piece. The two basset horns (a lower version of the clarinet) and the four horns, for example, give the piece its characteristic sonorous sound.
Although the 'Gran partita' has long been one of Mozart's best-loved pieces, the serenade became even more famous through the performances by the wind instruments of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Conductor and founder Frans Brüggen, himself a wind player, figured out how the piece must have sounded in Mozart's time. This gave the work new life and an unprecedented, widely praised depth. In 1988, the musicians made a much-praised world tour with this masterpiece. Many of the wind players who took part then still play in the orchestra.
In 1981, recorder player and conductor Frans Brüggen founded the successful ensemble, which quickly rose to the international top. In the following years, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century received several awards. In 2010, the orchestra received the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Prize. In 2018, the orchestra was awarded the VSCD prize 'De Ovatie'. Although Frans Brüggen passed away in 2014, his musical legacy is still very much alive. Under the baton of Brazilian conductor and flutist Ricardo Kanji, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century travels throughout the Netherlands this autumn with Mozart's serenade 'Gran partita'.