Ton Koopman / Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

From Toy Symphony to Bauernhochzeit

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917218923
Catnr: CC 72189
Release date: 01 January 2007
1 CD
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72189
Release date
01 January 2007

About the album

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) grew up in a musical environment. His father, Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), was a composer, performer and theoretician.

Leopold gave his children musical tuition and guidance, also encouraging composition from an early age. Wolfgang wrote his first compositions – an Andante and an Allegro for piano – at the age of five. Leopold mounted an elaborate publicity campaign in order to win renown for his prodigious children throughout Europe. The younger they were the greater the sensation. Thus, setting off with them, Leopold visited the musical centres of the time. In 1764 the family arrived in London, where Wolfgang composed his first Symphony in E flat K 16. Undoubtedly assisted by his father and influenced by Johann Christian Bach. His initial symphonies are clearly experiments, or exercises in a new genre, but they are nevertheless well-crafted, fullfledged mniature works. In the second movement a motive appears that later serves as the foundation for the Symphony no. 41, the ‘Jupiter’ (K 551). At the same tour, during a stay in Holland, Gallimathias Musicum was composed for the festive inauguration of Willem V as Stadhouder of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. In the period that Wolfgang married his beloved Constanze without his father’s blessing he composed the Twelve variations on the French folk tune "Ah, vous dirai-je, maman" K 265. The melody used to be and still is the setting for nursery rhymes across Europe (e.g. Twinkle twinkle little star, Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann (D) and Altijd is Kortjakje ziek (NL)). Of the 15 sets of variations that Wolfgang wrote, the ones on ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ are by far the best known. Well past the experimenting stage, they are rather an elaborate display of what the composer was then able to do with such a simple melody. Each variation has its own character and style, while the original melody remains audible throughout.

Leopold Mozart was a composer of a entirely different calibre. His conscious aim was to write simple, undemanding music. In his time ‘the ordinary man’ had started becoming interested in composed music. Since the level of the amateurs was not such that they were able to perform the virtuosic music of the court ensembles, a demand rose for more simple music. Leopold filled this gap. Leopold often used uncommon instruments to give additional colour to his music. An example is Die Bauernhochzeit, which draws on a set of bagpipes. In addition, the musicians have to cheer and clap. Leopold also supplemented many of his scores with simple indications for performance. A typical example of the above is Cassatio ex G 'mit der Kindersinfonie'. The use of simple children’s instruments and toys that made sounds were then in fashion. Although the piece radiates a childlike simplicity, it is not so easy to play. Many of the children’s instruments are only able to produce one or two notes, and for every additional note another instrument was necessary.
De invloed van Leopold Mozart op zijn zoon Wolfgang Amadeus
Dit album probeert te duidelijk te maken hoe Leopold Mozart zijn zoon Wolfgang Amadeus heeft beïnvloed door de meest bekende werken van Leopold tegenover de vroege werken van Wolfgang Amadeus te zetten. De werken worden uitgevoerd door het Amdsterdam Baroque Orchestra onder leiding van Ton Koopman en Tini Mathot op pianoforte.

‘’Die Bauernhochzeit’’ en ‘’Cassatio ex (kindersymphonie)’’ zijn gecomponeerd door Leopold Mozart. Leopold componeert eenvoudige muziek, en zet vaak ongewone instrumenten in voor extra klankkleur. In ‘’Die Bauernhochzeit” speelt bijvoorbeeld een doedelzak mee. De musici moeten daarnaast ook juichen en klappen tijdens de uitvoering van dit werk.

De werken van Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart die in het album zijn opgenomen zijn de Symfonie in Es groot, Twaalf variaties op ‘Ah, vous dirai-je maman’, en de fuga uit ‘Gallimathias musicum. Het laatste werk is gecomponeerd voor de inauguratie van Willem V als stadhouder van de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden. De Symfonie in Es groot is Mozart’s eerste symfonie. Deze symfonie is een goed gemaakt miniatuurwerkje, ook al is het een experiment in een nieuw genre.
Diese CD möchte die Einflüsse von Leopold Mozart auf seinen genialen Sohn Wolfgang Amadeus deutlich machen, indem die beiden bekanntesten Werke des Vaters den ersten Kompositionsübungen des Sohnes gegenüber gestellt werden. Ton Koopman, sein Amsterdamer Baroque Orchestra und Tini Mathot am Fortepiano musizieren mit überschäumender Musizierlust und Freude am Detail. Inhalt: Leopold Mozart (1719 - 1787): Die Bauernhochzeit & Cassatio ex ('mit der Kindersinfonie') / Sinfonie in Es-Dur KV 16 / Zwölf Variationen in C über 'Ah, vous dirai-je maman' KV 265 & Fuge aus Gallimathias musicum KV 32.


Ton Koopman was born in Zwolle in 1944. After a classical education he studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam and was awarded the Prix d'Excellence for both instruments. From the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated by authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship and in 1969, at the age of 25, he created his first Baroque orchestra. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992.

Koopman's extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on a large number of LPs and CDs for labels like Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DG, besides his own record label “Antoine Marchand”, distributed by Challenge Records.

Over the course of a forty-five-year career Ton Koopman has appeared in the most important concert halls and festivals of the five continents. As an organist he has performed on the most prestigious historical instruments of Europe, and as a harpsichord player and conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at venues which include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Philharmonie in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and leading concert halls in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Tokyo and Osaka.

Between 1994 and 2004 Ton Koopman has been engaged in a unique project, conducting and recording all the existing Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis "Echo Klassik", the BBC Award 2008, the Prix Hector Berlioz, has been nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK). In 2000 Ton Koopman has received an Honorary Degree from the Utrecht University for his academic work on the Bach Cantatas and Passions and has been awarded both the prestigious Silver Phonograph Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Award. In 2006 he has received the « Bach-Medaille » from the City of Leipzig.

Recently Ton Koopman has embarked on another main project: the recording of the whole works by Dietrich Buxtehude, one of the great inspirer of the young J.S. Bach. The recording will be accomplished in 2010 with the release of 30 CDs. Ton Koopman is President of the “International Dieterich Buxtehude Society”.

Ton Koopman is very active as a guest conductor and he has collaborated with many prominent orchestras in Europe, USA and Japan. He has been Principal Conductor of the Netherland Radio Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, DSO Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Wiener Symphoniker. In the following season he will work on new programmes with the New York Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Orchestra RAI in Turin, Stockholm Philharmonic, Tonhalle in Zurich. After the great success of his tour at the beginning of 2008, Ton Koopman has been nominated Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Orchestra for three consecutive years starting in 2011.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly and for a number of years he has been engaged in editing the complete Händel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel. Recently he has published Händel’s Messiah and Buxtehude‘s Das Jüngeste Gericht for Carus. Ton Koopman leads the class of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, is Professor at the University of Leiden and is a Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Ton Koopman is artistic director of the French Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir
Ton Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979. The group consists of internationally renowned baroque specialists who meet up several times a year and work together to prepare and perform new exciting programmes. For the musicians each concert is a new experience and Koopman's boundless energy and enthusiasm are a sure guarantee of the highest quality.

The Amsterdam Baroque Choir was founded in 1992 and it made its debut during the Holland Festival of Early Music in Utrecht performing the world première of the Requiem (for 15 voices) and Vespers (for 32 voices) by H.I.F. Biber. The recording of both of these works won the Cannes Classical Award for the best performance of 17th/18th century choral music. For its rare combination of textural clarity and interpretative flexibility, the Amsterdam Baroque Choir is considered among today’s most outstanding choirs.

In 1994 Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir embarked upon the most ambitious recording project of the last decades: the integral recording of Bach’s secular and sacred cantatas. For this extraordinary project Koopman and his ensemble received the Deutsche Schallplatten-Preis Echo Klassik. Next to the CD recordings three books have been edited and published by Ton Koopman and the musicologist Christoph Wolff and a series of six documentaries was produced and broadcasted by various TV stations.

Alongside Bach’s music the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir has recorded all major baroque and classical works. Major recognitions include the Gramophone Award, Diapason d'Or, 10-Repertoire, Stern des Monats-Fono Forum, the Prix Hector Berlioz and two Edison Awards. In 2008 the ensemble and Ton Koopman have been honoured with the prestigious BBC Award.

Since March 2003 “Antoine Marchand”, a new sub-label of Challenge Classics, took over the release of Koopman’s new recordings and among many others has published 22 CD boxes of the Bach Cantatas, a new recording of the St. Matthew Passion (on CD and DVD) and St. Markus Passion of J.S. Bach (DVD), live recorded in Milan, as well as the first seven volumes of the Buxtehude Opera-Omnia Edition.

Ton Koopman and the ABO & ABC are regular guests at the major concert halls of Europe, the USA and Japan. In the 2008/09 season they will tour extensively in Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Milan, Cologne, Dresden, Düsseldorf etc) and in Far East with concerts in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.

Tini Mathot
Tini Mathot was born in Amsterdam. She studied piano and harpsichord at the Sweelinck Conservatory in her native town.
She works in tight collaboration with her husband (and former teacher) Ton Koopman with whom she regularly performs in concert halls all over the world. Their repertoire for either two harpsichords, harpsichord and pianoforte, harpsichord and organ or two organs, ranges from well-known to rediscovered unknown works.

Tini Mathot plays regularly as a soloist, continuoplayer or accompanist. She is a founding member of the Corelli Ensemble, together with recorder player Reine-Marie Verhagen. Her recording of Haydn trios together with Jaap ter Linden and Andrew Manze was awarded a Diapason d’Or.
In a 2005 recording she accompanied baritone Klaus Mertens in Schubert’s Winterreise, playing an original Rosenberger fortepiano. On her most recent CD she plays both organ and harpsichord, performing J.S. Bach’s triosonatas together with Reine-Marie Verhagen (recorder).

As recording producer for Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir and other leading ensembles she has produced numerous records for Erato, Teldec, Antoine Marchand / Challenge Classiscs and other labels.

Tini Mathot is professor of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory The Hague.


Play album


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