Viva Mozart!

Mozart sells itself just as Hawaii sells itself. The new all Mozart programme of the Bekkers Piano Guitar Duo includes Bekkers arrangement of the Overture to the Magic Flute and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Viva Mozart! Voila!

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During the two months Robert and I lived on opposite ends of the earth, he in the Netherlands and I in Hawaii, literally 12 time zones apart, I got involved in the local classical music scene in Maui. My blog “Maui Tips for Newcomers by a Newcomer” documents some of these activities but leaves out several important events that lead to where I am at today.

Barely a week after I returned to Holland at the end of May 2011, we had to prepare to give a concert in Warnsveld. We had not practised together for months. We had to come up with a new programme. What was possible and do-able in the short space of 5 days?

Mozart came to the rescue.

Just a month earlier I had turned pages for Katherine Collier, the pianist and developer of “Amadeus-The Magical Life and Music of Mozart” the opening concert of the 30th Anniversary of the Maui Classical Music Festival. The previous time I had visited the venue of the Makawao Union Church, I was the pianist. In fact, it was the very place where Robert and I gave our first public concert in the USA (not counting Houston Public Radio and the two house concerts in Houston that same month in 2007).

Collier’s Mozart was a brilliant programme, narrated by the Hawaii Public Radio announcer Howard Dicus. Ms Collier wore a white wig and dressed as Mozart. Each string instrument had a motif representing the main characters in Mozart’s life — his dad, his mom, his sister, his wife. The story of the child prodigy was told through music and narration. The audience got to sample a variety of his music: piano solo, string quartet, opera extracts, aria, etc.

Several weeks later while visiting friends in Colorado, I watched the director’s cut of the movie Amadeus. I was once more reminded of the ephemeral popularity of Mozart.

Mozart sells itself just as Hawaii sells itself. People will attend a concert of Mozart’s music, just as people will visit Hawaii (if they can afford the time and airfare). There is no need for embellishment or hard sell.

Our duo has more than enough Mozart for a full concert (45 minutes + intermission + 30 minutes). For the one hour programme without intermission, we have to choose what to leave out. We left out Carulli’s Variazione Sopra un Tema del Flauto magico di Mozart by Beethoven, op. 169 which we played extensively in 2007-2008. Hot off the press is Robert’s new arrangement of the Overture to the Magic Flute and the rest of the Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

The audience at the 3rd June concert in Warnsveld loved our programme. It was not difficult to do. Why did it take us 10 years to figure it out? We had been varying our programme as often as once every month, including difficult pieces such as the 30-minute long Grand Potpourri National which took months to get ready.

The page programme (PDF) of Viva Mozart! is ready to rock and roll. Our next concerts in the Netherlands are Sunday 26 June 2011 in Zeist, Thursday 7th July in Utrecht, and Sunday 17th July in Amsterdam.

Bekkers arrangement of Mozart's Overture to the Magic Flute for piano and guitar
Bekkers arrangement of Mozart's Overture to the Magic Flute for piano and guitar