Since his first appearance back in 2010, Kristian Bezuidenhout has been a welcome guest soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Now the pianist and harpsichordist, who was born in South Africa, is also conducting the orchestra. The programme features piano concertos by C.P.E. Bach and Mozart, and Bezuidenhout will also be leading the orchestra in Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A major from the fortepiano.
‘Bach is the father, we are the children,’ Mozart once said of C.P.E. Bach, whose Piano Concerto in D minor, dating from 1745, still betrays the influences of his father (J.S. Bach) and Telemann. Nearly thirty years later, Mozart, then eighteen, wrote his Symphony No. 29 in A major. The symphony features the smooth elegance that so characterises Mozart and is also very expressive. Bezuidenhout hopes to bring that out. He says, ‘In my experience, orchestras are sometimes too reserved when it comes to Mozart’s music. I want to give a performance of flesh and blood, one full of expression which is both alive and distinct.’
The Piano Concerto No. 24, which Mozart wrote twelve years later, is an early herald of the expressivity of the Romantic era. The stormy work, which critics described after the premiere as ‘tragic’, ‘violent’ and ‘energetic’, would become one of his most popular piano concertos and was a major influence on both Beethoven and Brahms.