Uwe Grodd plays Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote three flute concertos in G, C and D major. The G major – a superbly balanced master work - is the most performed flute concerto around the globe. The C major concerto for flute and harp is unquestionably the most beautiful double concerto in history.  The D major concerto was transposed with alterations by Mozart himself from the oboe concerto in C major and calls for nimble virtuosity and charm.

You can hear all three concerti during ONE weekend on

October  27 , 28 and 29 in the MOZART YEAR 2006!       

Uwe Grodd, flute and the University Chamber Orchestra will start this small season on the Friday. Christine Chang - a Master student of Uwe’s -  will play the D major concerto with the Auckland Youth Orchestra the next evening and on Sunday Bach Musica will perform the C major flute and Harp concerto with Uwe.



Friday  27 October – 7.30pm

Auckland Cathedral Holy Trinity , Parnell

World vision Benefit Concert

University of Auckland Chamber Orchestra

Marc Taddei, conductor

Uwe Grodd, flute

Also: Shostakovich Hamlet & Mendelssohn 5





Saturday  28 october – 7.30pm

Auckland Town Hall

Auckland Youth Orchestra

Antun Poljanich, conductor

Christine Chang, flute

Also: Magic Flute Overture & Dvorak 9








Sunday 29 October 5pm

Bach Musica

Rita Paczian, conductor

Uwe Grodd, flute

Yi Jin, harp

Also: Purcell and Bach Cantata 106



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

At the age of 21, in September 1777, Mozart left Salzburg accompanied by his mother, to go to Munich, Mannheim and eventually Paris, to try to find a good position, or at least a commission to write an opera.

They were still in Mannheim four months later, with neither a position nor a commission partly because Mozart loved the Mannheim orchestra – the largest (approximately 90 musicians employed) and most virtuosic orchestra in Europe at the time. The impressive standard of wind players, in particular, encouraged Mozart to adopt a more independent style of composing for the wind section. The four Mannheim virtuosi became good friends of his and he wrote some of the greatest wind music in history for these players: Wendling, flute, Ramm, oboe, Ritter bassoon and Stich on horn.

Mozart made an interesting description of Wendling as a flautist whom he admired: “…in the first place, he doesn’t just tootle around; and then one needn’t feel afraid every time he plays a note that it will be either too sharp or too flat. You see, with him, everything is alright, his heart is in the right place, and so are his ears and the tip of his tongue; he doesn’t think that merely by puffing and twiddling his fingers he can achieve something, and he knows what Adagio means too.”

A friend of Wendling, Ferdinand de Jean – whom Mozart nicknamed ‘The Indian’ – commissioned several works for flute and Mozart reports to his father: "the other day, I went to Wendling’s place as usual; there Wendling tells me that our Indian – he is a Dutchman of independent means , a great friend and admirer of mine here – is willing to pay me 200 gulden if I write him three short concertos and a couple of quartets for the flute. "

However, Mozart did not finish all the works asked for and was paid only 96 gulden which prompted and angry letter full of excuses to the father. In this letter is a telling statement of how he felt about composing: “ I could scribble down things all day long, but a composition of this kind travels far and I certainly don‘t want to have cause to be ashamed of my name on the title page.”

As an excuse to his father when he was running late delivering the compositions he said he didn’t like writing for the flute. History since has been misguided by the statement that he did not like the flute. "...Far from it, Mozart loved writing for the flute…"  says Uwe Grodd, as can be clearly heard in the beauty of all of the slow movements but he hated amateur playing on this instrument such as the  ‘Indian’ would have done. He might not have paid Mozart simply because he couldn’t play the G major concerto as it is far too difficult especially on the flute of the late 18th century.

The most divine flute quartet in D major – performed by Uwe earlier in the year with the New Zealand String Quartet – was written on the 25th of December 1777.
Uwe Grodd: "Would a composer of Mozart’s stature and ability sit down on Christmas morning in order to write for an instrument he did NOT like?"