Vivaldi, Mozart, and Beethoven serve up an evening of glittering virtuosity and transcendent melody in this unusual, all-concerto program. Filmed at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium in 2015, Zubin Mehta leads the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as they accompany three very different 18th-century concertos performed respectively by trumpeters Ram Oren and Yigal Meltzer, clarinetist Ron Selka, and pianist Khatia Buniatishvili.
First comes Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Trumpets in C Major, RV 537, a delightful work originally intended to highlight the particular virtuosity of 18th-century trumpeters: unlike modern trumpets, their instruments had no valves or holes, and so they relied instead upon a supple embouchure and expert mastery of the harmonic series. Written for his friend, the virtuoso clarinetist Anton Stadler, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major K. 622 was also originally composed for a different kind of instrument: a basset clarinet, championed by Stadler, whose range extends down to low C. The evening culminates in Beethoven’s high-spirited and Mozartean Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, composed in 1795 and premiered that same year in Vienna with Beethoven himself as soloist.