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The International Mozarteum Foundation presented this year its 55th Salzburg Mozart Festival, in which the Vienna Philharmonic once again participated by giving three concerts in the large auditorium of the Festspielhaus. The first evening was dedicated entirely to the Salzburg's local genius. On January 23, 2010, Christoph Eschenbach conducted Mozart's Piano Concerto in A major, KV 414 (soloist: Lars Vogt) and Symphony in C major, KV 338, as well as performing together with Lars Vogt the Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat major, KV 365 (316a), which Mozart most probably composed around the turn of the year 1780/81 for two equally gifted virtuosi, most likely himself and his sister, Nannerl.
At the concert taking place on January 27, 1010, which was Mozart's 254th birthday, Franz Schubert dominated the program. Conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt opened the evening with Schubert's 5th Symphony in B-flat major, D485, and concluded with the "Unfinished Symphony". Between these two works, Leif Ove Andsnes performed Mozart's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A major, KV 488, which stemmed from perhaps the the master's most productive creative period. On February 3, 1786, Mozart completed his opera "Der Schauspieldirektor" ; on March 2, 1786, the Piano Concerto, KV 488; on March 24, the concerto in C minor, KV 491; and on April 29, 1786 – only two days before the premiere - he completed his work on "The Marriage of Figaro".
On January 30, 2010, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was born in Canada in 1975 and is the musical director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and first guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, made his debut on the podium of the Vienna Philharmonic. The program was comprised of György Kurtágs "Lieder der Schwermut und der Trauer" for mixed chorus with instruments, op. 18. Following this musical setting of six texts from Russian authors (Michail Lermontow, Alexander Blok, Sergei Jessenin, Ossip Mandelstam, Anna Achmatowa, Maria Zwetajewa), according to Wolfgang Stähr "an introspective chronicle of forbidden words, the silent sadness of death, buried hope"; the concert concluded with Mozart's last composition, the Requiem in D minor, KV 626. The vocal soloists for this performance were Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Birgit Remmert (alto), Michael Schade (tenor), Franz-Josef Selig (bass), as well as the Berlin Radio Chorus, prepared by Simon Halsey, and Anton Holzapfel on the organ.