Ensemble Intercontemporain, Salle Pleyel, March 18th 2008
Actually, it is a quite good programming choice mixing the Alban Berg Chamber Concerto with Mozart Gran Partita for 13 woodwind as was done in this concert with the Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Pierre Boulez and with soloist Christian Tetzlaff and Mitsuko Uchida this Tuesday at the Salle Pleyel, Paris (more information here).
There is no doubt that the majority of the audience came for the Alban Berg piece, so this was definitely not an attempt, as seen so often before, to sneak in a "modern" piece within a concert drawing in the audiences via a traditional "classical" piece. Actually quite a few of the audience only arrived after the intermission.
On the contrary, the classical structures of the Alban Berg Chamber Concerto were highlighted by the preceding Mozart piece - "Alban Bergs conflict between expressionism and classical structure" - as Pierre Boulez stated in the program. And Pierre Boulez conducted the Alban Berg concerto with immense clarity and sense of detail and precision, with the brilliant soloists Christian Tetzlaff (violin) and Mitsuko Uchida (piano) providing the expressionism, so to speak. And making it quite clear, why this Chamber Concerto is indeed a master-piece, exposing layer after layer of colour in the music.
And I even continued to save money - buying a last-minute ticket from an Irish woman just outside the door for more than half the prize..
Photographs from the intermission: