Giovanni Simone Mayr (1763-1845)
Concertos for piano and orchestra
The philosopher musicianThe German composer Johann Simon Mayr was born near Ingolstadt in 1763, but lived most of his life in Italy, so he was really considered to be Italian. He is most famous for his vocal works, and less so for his instrumental compositions. His two Concertos in C, performed and recorded for the first time in La Spezia during the series of concerts I Concerti Ritrovati organised there by the Società dei Concerti, are an important and invaluable source for those wanting to know more about the historical, social and political context in which the Bavarian composer lived (see also: Bianchini-Trombetta – “Goethe, Mozart e Mayr Fratelli Illuminati” pub. Archè, 2001). Mayr was inspired by the Viennese school of enlightenment, and his musical style and harmonies refer particularly to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Rightly called the “philosopher” by Rossini, he chose the operatic and religious subjects for his compositions with great care, and never agreed to write anything that did not comply with own his ideas.