Have you ever wished you could meet someone before they became the person you know and love? Maybe wish you could meet one of your parents when they were an adolescent or perhaps experience your significant other when they were in high school?
The Mainly Mozart Festival is giving us that opportunity for the next two weeks. I was unable to attend the concert on Saturday night, June 4, at the Balboa Theatre, but I did go to the open rehearsal at 10:30 that morning.
Heads up — there will be open rehearsals for the next two Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Balboa. The experience is quite revealing. We get to see just how refined this group is and also get to hear how the conductor, Michael Francis, interacts with the orchestra.
Piano Concerto No. 2
The music for the opening concert was Mozart and Beethoven, but not the Mozart and Beethoven we know.
We are getting to hear Mozart before he was Mozart. The experimental aspects of the music are developed beyond maybe where he ended up. Had Johann Christian Bach not been an early influence, where might Mozart had gone?
The music had a sense of adventure and was full of imagination. It was before he found the template that was laid beneath much of his music.
Beethoven as well sounds other than Beethoven. We're meeting him as a young man who is trying to establish himself as a pianist within the shade cast by Mozart across the musical landscape. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 had moments of Beethoven but minutes of Mozart and Haydn.
Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne was delightful in the way it was staged and presented. It made me wonder just how much production is needed in order to get the music and the story across.
The next concert is Wednesday, June 8, at 8 p.m. at Balboa Theatre. The program includes Mozart, Saint Saens, and Mendelssohn.