Concerto for Mozart Piano Videos (2013)

  • Instrumentation: 1201, 2000, kybrd, 55331, electronics + video
  • Duration: 14’00
  • Performers: Group of Twenty-Seven Orchestra, cond. Eric Paetkau, soloist Gregory Oh
  • Commissioned by the Group of Twenty-Seven Orchestra

Program Notes

Video and recording available by request

Much of the concert experience is visual, even though we come “to hear the music”. The athleticism of performance, the split-second coordination required to make a piece of music come together, the thrill of seeing a group of individuals working together to create sound—all of these elements are vitally important to a successful live performance.

Concerto for Mozart Piano Videos pushes this relationship to the front of our attention, because the visual element of the “solo piano” part is borrowed from other performances. The keyboard soloist in the piece plays a sampler that controls 88 audiovisual clips, and each of these clips is of another pianist performing Mozart. The result is a visual collage: although you are seeing and hearing a new piece in a new performance, part of what you are seeing and hearing is also an old piece in an old performance.

This trompe-l’oeil aside, Concerto for Mozart Piano Videos functions like a piano concerto in the traditional sense. A soloist is supported by an orchestra, the only difference being that the pianos you are seeing and hearing were played on other concerts with different pieces of music.