Francesco Piemontesi plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.26 K.537 ‘Coronation’ with the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the BBC Proms on Sunday 2 August.
The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and will be filmed and made available online on the BBC Proms website.
‘I’m someone who loves to analyse a piece,’ says Francesco Piemontesi. ‘But with Mozart, once you’ve done that, there is still something you cannot explain.’
The Swiss pianist, who performs the ‘Coronation’ Piano Concerto at the Proms this year, has made a name for himself as an interpreter of Mozart. And this concerto is one of his favourites: ‘There is a simplicity that composers seem to get in their last works. This concerto may be less elaborate than the middle-period concertos but under the smooth surface you find so many different aspects.
Something else that’s particular to this concerto is that large sections of the left hand part are missing. So Piemontesi has written his own. ‘I wasn’t very happy with the part given its existing condition – it’s not completely what I would have expected. So I studied the way Mozart had written the left hand in other concertos and made my own version. It was a lot of work, but to be able to compose this was wonderful.’
The conductor is Nicholas Collon, one of Piemontesi’s favourite musicians to work with, and also a great friend. ‘There are some musicians whose breathing is exactly the same as yours,’ says Piemontesi: ‘you don’t have to look for every upbeat, you’re both receptive to the other person. We know we can trust each other.’
© BBC Proms
The programme on 2 August 2015, which the orchestra performs completely from memory, also includes contemporary music with Brett Dean’s ‘Pastoral Symphony’ and Anna Meredith’s ‘Smatter Hauler’, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 ‘Pastorale’.
Piemontesi’s appearance at the BBC Proms in 2014, with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Søndergård, gathered unanimous praise for his interpretations of Strauss’s Burleske and Mozart’s Rondò in A minor K.386:
“Hands firmly positioned over the keys, the touch of this Swiss-Italian pianist remained deliciously light through all the work’s technical difficulties. Brilliant cascades shot out to dazzle us. He even generated appreciative chuckles as he jumped down to the lowest register in a chain of abrupt, knotty chords as the work’s whimsical end approached. The jewellery became more polished still after the interval in Mozart’s A minor Rondo, K.386, despatched with just the elegant ease and clarity this composer needs” Arts Desk