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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 7,
1999. All rights reserved.
Mozart, Finish to Start
In the minds of many, Mozart and summertime go hand-in-hand.
After all, in the same month that the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
celebrates its fifth annual "Amadeus Festival," Lincoln Center
will rally its forces for its 33d year presenting the "Mostly
Mozart Festival," one of its longest running hits.
In NJSO’s opening program of works composed by a teenage Mozart, Hilary
Hahn, herself a 19-year-old violin prodigy, begins the Princeton component
of the festival with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4. The concert,
Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m., also features Mozart’s Symphonies Nos.
19, 20, and 21.
Music director Zdenek Macal, who arrived at the idea of moving the
annual festivals from Mozart’s mature works to the works of his youth
gradually, is well pleased with the outcome of the plan.
"We started in the first year of the festival with Mozart’s three
last symphonies," Macal explains. "The second year we continued
with the `Prague,’ `Linz,’ and `Haffner’ symphonies. In preparation
for the third year I thought to myself, `Why not make our way through
all 41 symphonies?’ The earlier symphonies are not as developed, but
they still contain his colorful brilliance. And it is a shame that
they are not performed more often."
Thus the plan, which began without a plan, has presented surprises
for its audience, mostly positive. "The most positive surprise
is the audience reaction both immediately after the piece, and after
the concerts in conversations with them," says Macal. "They
wonder why these rarely performed symphonies are neglected. That is
another goal of mine by sticking to an all-Mozart festival — to
introduce the audience to rarely performed works."
Israeli artists Ariel Shamai and Ori Kam perform Mozart’s beloved
"Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra," on
Friday, July 16, 8 p.m., on a program with the symphonies Nos. 18,
23, and No. 36, "The Linz."
Spotlighting its own principal players, the NJSO Chamber
Players are featured in a program that includes Mozart’s Divertimento
in E-flat major for violin, viola, and cello, and the lovely Quintet
in A major for clarinet and strings, featuring Karl Herman, clarinet,
on Friday, July 23. The ensemble includes acting concertmaster Brennan
Sweet, violinists Francine Swartzentruber and Frank Foerster, and
cellist Jonathan Spitz.
The Princeton festival concludes on Friday, July 30, with a program
titled "Two Triumphant Coronations," featuring the orchestra
and the Pro Arte Chorale in Mozart’s "Coronation Mass." A
quartet of acclaimed soloists are featured in the Mass: Margret Cahn,
Paula Rasmussen, John Daniecki, and Dean Ely. This is paired with
the "Coronation Concerto," featuring pianist John Browning,
and the Symphony No. 27. The program is part of the move to include
choral works in the festival, a feature made possible by symphony’s
move to its permanent home at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
The site of an introductory festival program featuring conductor and
commentator Robert Kapilow, NJPAC is also the site of a special festival
performance of the New Jersey Opera Festival’s "Don Giovanni,"
currently in repertory at McCarter Theater. Directed by Francis Cullinan,
the opera is scheduled for NJPAC on Saturday, July 24, at 8 p.m.
Thus Mozart in the summertime means no regrets for Maestro Macal.
Asked if his reverse scheme is something he would deliberately repeat,
he says: "I would program all the symphonies and all of the concertos
again. And in the future we will have choral works regularly in the
festival. With several hundred Mozart works, we have enough music
to play for many more years."
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University, 800-ALLEGRO. $15 to $38.
Symphonies 19, 20, and 21. Friday, July 9, 8 p.m.
for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra. Also Symphonies Nos. 18, 23, and
36. Friday, July 16, 8 p.m.
major and Quintet in A major for clarinet and strings,. Friday,
July 23, 8 p.m.
in the "Coronation Mass," and John Browning, piano, in Mozart’s
"Coronation Concerto." Also Symphony No. 27. Friday, July
30, 8 p.m.
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