A transparent look to Mozart and Haydn by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

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A transparent look to Mozart and Haydn by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Baiba Skride

Violinist Baiba Skride and Maestro Olari Elts are the main performers of the last Seattle Symphony concert dedicated to Mozart and Haydn.

After the miraculous dream of the Baroque period, when classical music woke up as a proper genre, the ideas of the Illustration imbibed the work of the artists of the second half of the 18th century. The development of the symphony as the ideal form for orchestral music came with Joseph Haydn, who untiringly explored it looking for new ways of expression. Amadeus Mozart, in the other hand, was a hurricane, a genial explosion of astonishing melodies and musical structures, an endless source of eternal tunes. Together with Sebastian Bach, they changed the History of art and perhaps determined even the way we understand concepts like beauty, perfection or eternity.

That´s why whenever their works are played today, audiences have the opportunity to keep in contact with the purity of classical music and enjoy finding out new pearls of diversity within the overwhelming perfection of their style. The Seattle Symphony orchestra, conducted by Estonian Olari Elts, presented last Thursday a simple but interesting program featuring Mozart´s Violin Concerto No.3 in G major and Haydn´s Symphony No.104 in D major “London”. Both were preceded by some small works of the same composers. A good choice as they prepared the audience for the main works and open the horizon towards those other minor pieces composed on request or for an informal occasion.

Olari Elts. Photo: Marco Borggreve
Olari Elts. Photo: Marco Borggreve

In the first part, the amazing technique of Latvian violinist Baiba Skride playing Mozart eclipsed the attentive work of Mr Elts and the Seattle Symphony. The notes out of Skride violin were pure and clear as crystal, a prodigious of honesty and delicacy. Her approach is just fine with the style and the composer. It was a phenomenal rendition which merited more enthusiasm from the audience. There are still two more opportunities to go to the Benaroya Hall to enjoy the transparent violin of this young artist.

The second part started with the fanfare of the March in E-flat for the Royal Society of Musicians, composed by Joseph Haydn during his first stay in London. The piece is like a call to liberty and joy. The joy of feeling free to create his music beyond the desires of his patron Nicolas Esterházy. After that, Olary Elts proposed a detailed version of the Symphony No.104, another piece composed by Haydn in England. His connection with all the musicians in the orchestra made possible an attractive and eloquent rendition of the score. Beneath the staves, Elts disclosed the hidden art of a mature Haydn. Elts guided an inspired Seattle Symphony orchestra with the precision of an artisan, arising new and surprising nuances from Haydn´s music.

We will continue narrating more musical evenings from the Benaroya Hall in Seattle. It´s going to be a pleasure.

Carlos J. Lopez