Richard Fairman in the Financial Times goes to the opening of Mozart Unwrapped:
The champagne flowed as the musicians were tuning up – not for Johann Strauss, the composer who is usually the toast of New Year’s eve, but for Mozart. With every piece of his music due to be broadcast on the radio over the next 12 days, and much of it played in festival conditions through the rest of the year, there was no time to be wasted: the new year was rung in with Mozart echoing in our ears.
Mozart Unwrapped is the year-long festival at Kings Place, the arts hub up the road from King’s Cross train station. Across 40 events, delivered in 11 week-long packages, there will be almost everything from the piano sonatas and string quartets to the wind serenades and pieces for glass harmonica. Only the operas are getting short shrift, as they would feel cramped even in the larger Hall One…
… To kick off Mozart Unwrapped, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment offered a programme of three undisputed masterpieces. It is hard to think of an ambience further removed from the period elegance of Mozart’s Rococo Salzburg than the sleek modern interior of Kings Place, but so much else here is right – the size of the hall, the excellence of the acoustics, the closeness of stage and audience.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.