MYSLIVECEK KEYBOARD CONCERTO

In March 2019, Clare releases a disc of concertos and solo keyboard works by the Czech composer, Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781), a close friend and mentor of Mozart. The concertos are performed with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan and will be released by BIS Records. This is the world premiere recording of the second concerto, and the only time that his Complete Keyboard Works have been presented on disc.

Known by many simply as ‘Il Boemo’ (‘The Bohemian’), Myslivecek lived a life so scandalous that at times he shocked even Mozart himself. He enjoyed great success on the international stage, both as an operatic and a symphonic composer, and was well established in his career when he met the young Mozart in Bologna in 1770. Myslivecek became a mentor to Mozart and is the only composer of whom Mozart wrote with affection and respect.

Myslivecek contracted syphilis later in life and lost his nose during the course of a botched operation. After deceiving Mozart’s father in a business transaction, Myslivecek and the Mozart family became estranged and Myslivecek ultimately died disfigured and in poverty. It is only in the past few decades that his music has been revived.

“I should advise my sister to play Myslivecek’s sonatas with plenty of expression, taste and fire, and to learn them by heart. For they are sonatas which are bound to please everyone, and very effective when played with proper precision.” (Mozart, in a letter to his father, 1777)

“There is no other composer in his entire life for whom Mozart expressed such affection and respect.” (Daniel Freeman, scholar and biographer of Myslivecek)

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