CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Sunday, April 2, 2017 | 3 PM

Jörg Widmann
Mitsuko Uchida

Zankel Hall
Masters meet when clarinetist-composer Jörg Widmann and pianist Mitsuko Uchida perform music of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Berg, and Widmann. The Times (London) has praised Widmann for his “masterfully fluid tone control over every register, from the highest cloud-covered peak to the lowest velvet burblings.” Uchida, of course, is “among the most respected artists of our time” (The New York Times).

Performers

  • Jörg Widmann, Clarinet
    NY Recital Debut
  • Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

Program

  • BRAHMS Clarinet Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1
  • BERG Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 5
  • JÖRG WIDMANN Fantasie for Solo Clarinet
  • SCHUBERT Impromptu in C Minor, D. 899, No. 1
  • JÖRG WIDMANN Sonatina facile (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Bios

  • Jörg Widmann


    Clarinetist, composer, and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. During the 2016-2017 season, he appears as a soloist with orchestras that include Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and Bamberger Symphoniker. In July 2017, he will be featured as a soloist on tour with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Kent Nagano.

    In January 2017, Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie opened with the premiere of a new oratorio by Mr. Widmann. He will be featured in an artist portrait during the hall's first season, including a solo recital, a duo recital with Mitsuko Uchida, and a concert with Ensemble Resonanz.

    Mr. Widmann's residencies include Brussels' BOZAR, where he will be featured as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Belgium under Xian Zhang and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in a program that will include him as both soloist and conductor. Also included in his residency are performances of his works by Ensemble Modern and Quatuor Diotima. As the Munich Chamber Orchestra's artist-in-focus, he leads and performs with the orchestra, in addition to his compositions being presented as part of a portrait concerto.

    Mr. Widmann regularly partners with renowned soloists and ensembles, including Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and the Hagen Quartet. Chamber music performances this season include duo recitals with Ms. Uchida-including the premiere of a new work he wrote for the pianist-at London's Wigmore Hall and Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie; a US recital tour with the Pacifica Quartet; and recitals with the Hagen Quartet that feature the premiere of his new Clarinet Quintet at Madrid's Auditorio Nacional.

    Continuing his engagements as a conductor, Mr. Widmann performs this season with the Kammerphilharmonie Potsdam and embarks on a tour throughout Germany and Europe with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is the principal conductor.

    More Info

  • Mitsuko Uchida


    Legendary pianist Mitsuko Uchida brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own quest for truth and beauty. Renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Beethoven, she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, and Boulez.

    In 2016, Ms. Uchida was appointed an artistic partner to the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and began a series of concerts directing Mozart concertos from the keyboard in tours of major European venues, as well as in Japan. Other recent highlights include an acclaimed performance of Schoenberg's piano concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and play-directing The Cleveland Orchestra in performances at Cleveland's Severance Hall and Carnegie Hall. Recital tours in 2016 included performances at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Vienna's Konzerthaus, and London's Royal Festival Hall.

    In 2017, Ms. Uchida embarks on a Schubert sonata series-featuring 12 of Schubert's major works-which she will tour throughout Europe and North America. She also returns to the Salzburg and Edinburgh festivals, and appears with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano.

    Ms. Uchida's relationship with the finest orchestras and concert halls has resulted in numerous residencies. She has been artist-in-residence at The Cleveland Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartwoche, and Lucerne Festival, as well as a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons.

    Ms. Uchida records exclusively for Decca, and her extensive discography includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. She recently finished recording Mozart's piano concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, the last installment of which was released this past fall.

    Highly committed to aiding the development of young musicians, Ms. Uchida is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and director of the Marlboro Music Festival. Ms. Uchida was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.

    More Info

At a Glance

Towards the end of his extraordinary career, Johannes Brahms was encouraged out of self-imposed retirement by the singing soulfulness of the clarinet. The playing of German clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld inspired an extraordinary crop of late masterpieces from the composer, including two clarinet sonatas in 1894.

At the time of Brahms’s death three years later, Alban Berg was already a teenager and would soon begin to compose music in his own right, starting with songs and later—under the guidance of his teacher Arnold Schoenberg—a series of increasingly bold instrumental works. The harmonic language of this so-called Second Viennese School reached an expressive peak just before World War I, as heard in the Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano that Berg wrote in 1913. Aphoristic and atonal though they may be, these works pack a considerable emotional punch.  

That is also the case, of course, in Schubert’s miniatures—written nearly a century earlier—such as his 1827 piano impromptus. We hear one of these poetic songs without words between contemporary composer and clarinetist Jörg Widmann’s life-filled Fantasie—in which he imagines various figures coming together “in the spirit of commedia dell’arte”—and his Sonatina facile, a work that reflects the composer’s creative engagement with music of the past, in this case Mozart’s popular Piano Sonata in C Major. Schumann’s musical vision takes center stage in the final work on this afternoon’s program; the composer often trod a difficult emotional path, but in his 1849
Fantasiestücke, we find him reconciling differences and closing on a palpably positive note.
Program Notes
Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Public support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.
This performance is part of Chamber Sessions III.