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Exploring the Duality of Mozart with Gustavo Dudamel

Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature with the LA Phil’s Gustavo Dudamel.
Exploring the Duality of Mozart with Gustavo Dudamel
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Exploring the Duality of Mozart with Gustavo Dudamel

The LA Phil is getting set to give the downbeat on its 99th season this week at Walt Disney Concert Hall. For the occasion, they’ve got Mozart on their mind. Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel says there’s a duality in Mozart’s music that’s almost an oxymoron.

“The music of Mozart,” Dudamel says, “represents the complexity of simplicity.”

In other words, it may seem simple on the surface, but dig deeper and you’ll find an incredible richness of content and intent. Dudamel has chosen to begin this LA Phil season with an exploration of the music written in the final year of Mozart’s life. Stuff like the sublime Clarinet Concerto…

…and the hilarity of his final (depending on how you count) opera, The Magic Flute.

Gustavo Dudamel says it’s overwhelming to think about how much more music Mozart could have written had he not died at age 35.

“We cannot imagine Mozart with more time to [write more]. But what he left, especially in this last year of his life, was unique.”

The focus on the music of Mozart’s last year is part of a mini-festival Dudamel put together called Mozart: 1791, which begins on Friday, September 29. But Tuesday night, September 26, it’s the LA Phil’s season-opening gala, which is focusing on some of the earliest music Mozart wrote. Like his first symphony, which Mozart wrote when he was just eight years old.

Pianists Yuja Wang and Jean-Yves Thibaudet will stop by Tuesday night as well. They’ll play Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto together with the LA Phil. Gustavo Dudamel says if Mozart were around today, he’d be on the cutting edge of musical innovation.

“Mozart, in our time,” Dudamel says, “would be the best DJ. He would’ve been part of The Beach Boys, maybe The Beatles, then he would’ve been in Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin, all the way until our times.”

Gustavo Dudamel is the Music and Artistic Director of the LA Phil. Tuesday night, September 26, the orchestra gives the downbeat of its 99th season with Dudamel conducting early works by Mozart.

Written by:
Brian Lauritzen
Brian Lauritzen
Published on 10.01.2018