New Year's Concert 2025

Flauto favoloso

1–2 & 5 January 2025

Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor
Marice Steger, recorder

Ticket presale in Andelfingen will be open from summer 2024.

1.1.2025
Wednesday, 5:00 PM
Andermatt
Concert Hall
2.1.2025
Thursday, 5:00 PM
5.1.2025
Sunday, 5:15 PM
Andelfingen
Reformierte Kirche

Programme

Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder (1725 Lucerne – 1765 Lucerne)
Symphony in E-flat major

Anton Heberle (um 1780 – um 1816)
Concerto for recorder and orchestra in G major

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Divertimento in F major K. 522 (A musical joke)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)
Konzert für Blockflöte G-Dur op. 10/6 RV 437

Fabian Müller (* 1964 Zurich)
Fantasia folcloristica

Johann Strauss (Son, 1825–1899)
Tik-Tak Polka

Johann Strauss (Father, 1804–1849)
Radetzky March

When you compose music according to classical rules, you need a thorough knowledge of counterpoint, its techniques and principles. The voice-leading has to be logical and singable, you should avoid excessive, unpleasant leaps, and you should make sure that the voices are all well balanced. Parallel fifths and octaves between two voices are forbidden, it’s essential to treat the leading notes correctly, and harmonic progressions and chord changes have to be logical and tonally satisfying; you should employ different possibilities for motivic development (such as repetition, variation and contrast); and of course rhythm, form, dynamics, articulation, tone colour and expression also have to keep the listener interested. Mostly importantly: despite all the rules, you have to stay supple and flexible, otherwise your work won’t sound inspired at all, and you’ll run the risk of being mocked by Mozart himself. For in his Divertimento K. 522, entitled A musical joke, Mozart took aim at all those amateur composers who lacked the necessary technical skills and musical imagination.

In this satire on the symphony, Mozart plays with his audience’s expectations. Much of the music here sounds clumsy, unimaginative, oblique and off-kilter. It’s also too slow – having been adjusted to the abilities of his musicians – while the horns don’t hit the right notes, and the most important theme in the trio of the second movement is a scale spanning two octaves. To be sure, compositional techniques, styles and tastes have changed over the centuries, but all the composers featured in the New Year’s Concert of the Swiss Orchestra were masters of their craft and at the height of their powers. This applies as much to the early Classical composer Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder from Lucerne as to the Venetian Baroque hero Antonio Vivaldi, to Anton Heberle (about whose biography we know little more than that he is said to have invented a walking-stick-cum-recorder in Vienna), and to Johann Strauss, both father and son of the same name (though certain purists might disagree with their inclusion here). Maurice Steger excels on the recorder, demonstrating just how beautiful in tone, delicate, clear and pure this instrument is, which on account of its more recent use in early music education is probably just about the most underestimated instrument in music history. The fabulous recorder – flauto favoloso – will thus be ringing in 2025 in Andermatt. Happy New Year!

Maurice Steger is dubbed the “Paganini” and “magician of the recorder” as well as “the world’s leading recorder player”.  In order to live up to such high expectations, one requires not only astonishing technique, but also charisma, intellect and a special sensitivity for the music. Maurice Steger has been proving all of this to his audiences, inspiring with his intense tone and unstoppable energy in various concert formats all over the world. As a soloist, conductor or both at once, he regularly performs with the top period instrument ensembles, such as the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, La Cetra Basel, Venice Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, Il Pomo D’oro, and I Barocchisti. He also performs with leading modern orchestras such as the Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, or the NDR Radiophilharmonie.

Maurice Steger loves the interaction between different cultures and getting to know other ways of working and interpretive approaches, working as a concert artist, teacher and juror, not only in Europe but throughout the world. Tours have taken him through North and South America, Asia and Australia. Through his own unending thirst for knowledge, he succeeds time and again to show how much there is still to be discovered about Baroque music. For example, on his recording Souvenirs, he presented works that he discovered in the private library of Count Harrach in Naples. His album Baroque Twitter with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and the singer Nuria Rial was inspired by birdsong. Mr. Handel’s Dinner with La Cetra Barockorchester Basel was released in the spring of 2019 and reflects on Handel’s opera performances and especially their intermissions in London. In September 2023, Steger’s very personal Tribute to Bach, also recorded with La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, was released on Berlin Classics.