Press Highlights: Uchida and Mozart

9 December 2016

At the end of November, the MCO and Artistic Partner Mitsuko Uchida reconvened for their fourth tour of 2016, which brought a celebrated programme featuring Mozart’s Piano Concertos no. 17 and no. 25, as well as Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings, to major cities in Europe. This tour, which came on the heels of an extensive Japanese tour that included a residency at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, was met with great acclaim from audiences and the press alike. 

For the MCO, this tour brought a fulfilling year of working with Mitsuko Uchida to a close. Mitsuko Uchida’s long-term artistic collaboration with the MCO, which formally began in January 2016, focuses on Mozart’s piano concertos with Uchida directing the orchestra from the keyboard. In February 2017, the MCO and Mitsuko Uchida meet again for concerts in Perugia, Treviso and at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. 

Here is a selection of press highlights from the most Uchida and Mozart tour to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Dortmund, Berlin and London: 

The wonder of Mozart’s music is that its palette ranges from pure musical abstraction to accurately touching emotion – and above all, that this emotion is timeless. The two piano concertos, which the English-Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the excellent Mahler Chamber Orchestra set to life with wonderful performances, are beautiful examples of the extremes between which Mozart’s music moves.
Het Parool

There is something immediately electrifying with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra [...] Here, [in Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings] the energy comes from within, from the unfolding of the music [...] such brilliant music-making, which manifests the complexity of the work without effect, is an absolutely rarity in the music world.
Berliner Zeitung
Read the full review here 

The cheerful folk melodies; the trance-like, indeed also harmonic rapture of the middle movements; the dialogue between the soloist and the excellent woodwinds; the vitality of the final movements – the Mahler Chamber Orchestra ennobles [the music] very naturally [...] A wild medley with human dimension, an entrancing evening. 
Read the full review here

But the truth is that this is one of those orchestras in which all are stars.
The Guardian (5 out of 5 stars)
Read the full review here

So clearly these young players were inspiring her as much as us. In Bartók’s Divertimento, they had the stage to themselves, and they seized their moment. This wonderful piece, which marries a joy in Eastern European folk music with frightening intimations of a coming nightmare (the piece was written in 1939), has rarely seemed so vivid and alive.
The Telegraph
Read the full review here 

The wonderful strings of the MCO gave a superb performance of [Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings], showing clear understanding between the players, particularly fine playing from the principals in the solo passages, and giving shape and texture to the piece.
Read the full review here

The MCO, led by concertmaster Matthew Truscott, performs Bartók's Divertimento for Strings at Konzerthaus Dortmund.

The MCO and Artistic Partner Mitsuko Uchida perform Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 25 KV 503 at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Photos: Geoffroy Schied