NEWARK—On its first Best of … series program of the 2010–11 season, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra celebrates one of the most influential composers in history. Best of Mozart presents a unique look at the musical genius, a child prodigy who crafted some of the most famous and important music in the classical literature.
The program includes Mozart’s Overtures to The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni and movements from the “Jupiter” Symphony, Symphony No. 1 and “Haffner” Symphony. Tchaikovsky’s “Mozartiana” Suite—the program’s only non-Mozart work—is the Russian composer’s tribute to his musical icon.
The program features five NJSO principal musicians as soloists. Principal Clarinet Karl Herman performs the second movement of the Clarinet Concerto, and Principal Flute Bart Feller, Principal Oboe Robert Ingliss, Principal Horn Lucinda Lewis and Principal Bassoon Robert Wagner perform the Sinfonia Concertante for Flute, Oboe, Horn and Bassoon. David Lockington conducts.
Performances take place on Thursday, October 14, (7:30 p.m.) at Morristown’s Community Theatre, Friday, October 15, (7:30 p.m.) at The War Memorial in Trenton, Saturday, October 16, (8 p.m.) at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and Sunday, October 17, (3 p.m.) at bergenPAC in Englewood. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is a presenting sponsor for the Morristown series.
Feller, who has appeared as soloist with the NJSO on multiple occasions, says that the opportunity to perform with one’s own orchestra is a special experience. “Playing a chamber piece with your own orchestra has a nice double benefit—you have your orchestra behind you, and you also have your colleagues beside you,” he says.
The Sinfonia Concertante had been performed with clarinet instead of flute, Feller says, “but [scholar Robert Levin] reconstructed the piece as Mozart had intended it. I’ve heard it many times with clarinet; I always thought the work was so pretty, but I wanted to be involved! It wasn’t a flute piece until recently, so it is a happy surprise that I am able to perform it.”
The NJSO Best of … programs are thematically based, offering both connoisseurs and newcomers an opportunity to experience the joys of classical music. Narrative and theatrical elements provide context and entertainment. Each Best of … program lasts approximately 75 minutes, offering complete works and movements—some familiar, some rare and unusual.
“The Best of … programs have been really successful, and I really like to see the ones that give a fuller idea of a single composer,” Feller says. “It’s a great way to get a sense of how varied an output a composer like Mozart had. And it’s so interesting to hear pieces that you’ve always heard in a new context.”
Tickets range in price from $18 to $57 and are available for purchase online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).
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