A Birthday Concerto in the Spirit of Mozart

Chick Corea Portrait at His Piano

Chick at the Piano

In the summer of ’06 I got to realize a musical dream. I was commissioned to write a piece of music “In The Spirit Of Mozart” by the “Wiener Mozartjahr 2006” – one of Mozart’s musical homes – and to premier it in Vienna, one of the most musical cities in the world.

The whole experience was a wonderful experiment for me in composition, orchestration, the performance of “classical” piano concerto and the musical and sonic integration of the quartet with the orchestra. We rehearsed for a week, then performed 15 concerts throughout Europe during that beautiful summertime.

The program included a Mozart piano concerto of my choice – number 24 in C minor. This beautiful composition, one of my favorites of his 27 concerti, was made part of the program to contrast with the new piece of music I composed to honor Mozart which I titled “The Continents.”

Well, the only regret I had was not ever getting around to recording the performance for a public release. And after that summer’s concerts, I got busy with other projects and the whole experience drifted from my mind – – – until recently, when some requests started coming in asking for this program.

So I went back to some of the rough live (and unmixed) recordings of the concerts of that summer just to be reminded of what it was all about. And having the detachment resulting from almost 3 years passing, I was happy to get my interest highly tweaked on this music once again.

I do plan one day to put the project back together again and make a good recording of it – – but, in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to select a performance and play excerpts of it for you on the website. So here’s the first entry:

It’s half of the first part of the program and so begins with “Africa” – one of the 6 “Continents” (or parts of my piece for quartet and orchestra also referred to as “Piano Concerto #2”). Then there’s an improvised piano transition into movement 1 of the Mozart Piano Concerto #24 in C Minor.

When you listen, realize that this recording is what we call in the business a “board mix” – – this basically means that it’s not proper and finished, but just a rough recording of the event made for the purpose of studying the show to make improvements. So it’s unedited or “uncut” – – au naturale – – but I think it captures the spirit of the evening – – and the sound of the piano and other instruments is not too bad as it is.

There you go – – – –


Read Chick’s “Composer’s Notes” and rent music for “The Continents”