Staatskapelle Dresden premieres Jeffrey Ching’s completion of Mozart’s ‘Sinfonia Concertante in A Major’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Jeffrey Ching
Jeffrey Ching
Jeffrey Ching

Jeffrey Ching’s completion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante in A major” will have its world premiere by the world-renowned Staatskapelle Dresden on the occasion of its 469th founding anniversary in Dresden, Germany on Sept. 22. Legendary tenor Peter Schreier, who’s now 81, will conduct the Staatskapelle Symphony Orchestra.

Mozart’s unfinished “Sinfonia Concertante in A major” is scored for violin, viola, cello and orchestra.

In an e-mail, Ching explained that his work would depart from other completion works, as he based his on the “beautiful new theme“ found just before the “fragment breaks off.” Other completions in his opinion do not do justice to “this beautiful passage.” He said he had also used this as a material for the recapitulation at the close “of the highly virtuosic cadenza for the three soloists.”

The second movement, he continued, “is based on an existing adagio (slow movement) in E major for violin and orchestra, which Mozart may have composed as an alternative slow movement to his famous A major violin concerto.”   He said, “I merely had to adapt the original solo violin part for string trio, but then for the cadenza, [I] also added an intensely chromatic three-part canon much closer to my own compositional idiom.”

And for the finale, “I transcribed and completed Mozart’s unfinished ‘String Quartet Rondo in A major,’ the autograph of which reaches about halfway into the development section.

Composer Ching says that the “conditions surrounding this world premiere would be a dream come true for any composer—equally for Mozart and me!” The three soloists, he said, are the principals of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

In addition, as a boy, he heard the conductor, Scheier, essaying the lead role Ferrando in Mozart’s opera, “Cosi fan tutte” in Vienna, with the legendary Karl Bohm as conductor.

“I will now have to search my parents’ attic and cellar for the souvenir program of that performance.  And if I find it, I shall most certainly ask Mr Schreier for his autograph,” he said.

Ching’s other new works are lined-up for their premiere performances, too. In the same month (September), the critically acclaimed Mandelring Quartet of Germany will also premiere his new work, “Quartett-Dissonanzen” (based on Mozart’s Dissonanzen-Quartett) in several Asian cities.  In autumn 2018, his chamber opera “Before Brabant” will receive its scenic world premiere at Semperoper Dresden, to be played by the Staatskapelle Dresden and conducted by Dmitri Jurowski. In spring 2019, his new opera for singers and puppets based on the 1933 film “King Kong” will be premiered in an innovative staging by Magdeburg Oper and Magdeburg Puppet Theatre.

Jeffrey Ching studied music, Sinology and philosophy in Harvard, Cambridge (United Kingdom) and London, and now lives in Berlin with his wife, soprano Andión Fernández. They have two children, Jeffrey Jr., 11, a pianist and already several times first-prize winner of the Jugend Musiziert Competition in Berlin; and Clara, 7, who plays violin and piano and is also a prize-winner of the same competition. —CONTRIBUTED

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