Ann Arbor Observer cover
Tattoos for Avalon Housing
Ann Arbor Weather:
Saturday October 19, 2019
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

Mozart Birthday Bash

Music about something

by arwulf arwulf

From the January, 2015 issue

In October 1902, after attending a performance of Mozart's singspiel Zaide, aspiring composer Anton Webern confided to his diary that what he'd heard sounded "lovely and tender, so clear and simple, like a bright summer day. Such music makes one feel so good that one wishes for nothing else."

Webern could easily have been describing Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C major, the sunniest spot on the program of the nineteenth annual Mozart Birthday Bash on January 31, where oboist Timothy Michling will make his first appearance as concert soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Mozart's only concerto for oboe was composed in 1777 and transposed the following year as his Second Flute Concerto in D Major. The adaptation is lovely, but the original outing for oboe is a work of unparalleled charm and delicacy.

The vocal portion of the evening's celebration will consist of arias from the opera The Abduction from the Seraglio (1781-82) and the Great Mass in C Minor (1782-83), works composed during a turbulent, transitional period when Mozart fell in love with and married Constanze Weber. The opera's principal female character, also named Constanze, is a role that requires a vocalist of exceptional range and flexibility. The C minor Mass stands near the summit of Mozart's achievement in this form. At its premiere, Wolfgang had Constanze sing the gentle aria "Et incarnatus est."

This year's guest diva is Jeanette Vecchione, a powerful, passionate coloratura soprano with an unusually athletic background. In addition to shot put and discus, Vecchione abandoned a career in professional basketball to cross over--via Juilliard--to Mozart, Bellini, and bel canto. Eminently newsworthy, Vecchione has used her media access to encourage young people to listen to European classical music and learn to appreciate opera as a living, endlessly rewarding art form.

Maestro Arie Lipsky's program will open with the Adagio and Fugue for Strings in C minor and close with the thought-provoking Symphony no. 40 in G minor. While not all music has to

...continued below...

be "about" something, Mozart's later works often seem to be referencing the challenges of existence in this world. Remember that four out of Wolfgang and Constanze's six children died in infancy. Within the space of a few days in June 1788, during which they lost their baby daughter Theresia, Mozart completed his emotive fortieth Symphony and added the gloomy adagio to a Bach-like fugue he had written five summers earlier as they grieved the passing of their first child, little Raimund. This is Mozart with little or no sugar. Snow clouds of impermanence have arrived, as the weltschmerz of Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler gathers on the horizon. In the words of Diego Rivera: "I paint what I see."     (end of article)

[Originally published in January, 2015.]


Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

BooBooz and PupSudz
Goat's milk soaps at FarmSudz
Shelley Daily
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Nightspots: Zal Gaz Grotto
Parking And Transportation in Dexter
The Online Courthouse
How "socially minded software" is making courts more efficient-and helping people in recovery.
Jan Schlain
Photo: Window art at the bus center
Endangered Pentastar
A unique structure on Ann Arbor's west side is for sale and its ultimate fate unknown.
Grace Shackman
Health Care - Transportation
The Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild
Preserving a legacy
Megan Inbody
One of the finest university art museums in the country, UMMA holds collections representing 150 yea
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor