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“That was the best Beethoven Four I’ve heard since well—yeah.”

Mainly Mozart sells more tickets in outdoors Del Mar than Balboa Theater

Augustin Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.
Augustin Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

Now we come to the easiest and most difficult articles I write each year, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra articles. These are easy because the orchestra is nigh unto flawless. These are difficult because I quickly run out of superlatives. Finding fault is so much easier than describing greatness.

Video:

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto

Jochen Tschabrun / Alondra de la Parra

Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Jochen Tschabrun / Alondra de la Parra Frankfurt Radio Symphony

There have been three concerts in this edition of the Mainly Mozart Festival. The concerts are held outdoors at the San Diego Surf Cup Sports Park, formerly the Del Mar Polo Grounds. If there is one detractor from the musical experience, it is the outdoor setting. Yet I am told that ticket sales and attendance are stronger than when the festival was at The Balboa Theatre in the pre-Covid days.

The first concert, Friday, June 10 had just two pieces on the program. The Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No 4.

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto has long been a favorite of classical audiences. Mozart completed it in October of 1791 just a few weeks before his death in December of the same year. If Mozart’s music is perfect, the clarinet concerto is perhaps the most perfect of the perfect. The Mainly Mozart performance was a revelation of beauty and balance, particularly in the slow movement.

After Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 I spoke with a visiting musician who caught the concert. He said, “That was the best Beethoven Four I’ve heard since well—yeah.” I didn’t press him to clarify but I think I understood. He was saying that it was the best Beethoven he’d ever heard but no self-respecting musician wants to pronounce such a sweeping conclusion. I, on the other hand, am not a self-respecting musician and have no problem saying that I do not expect that performance to be exceeded in any future concerts I may attend.

Video:

Ludwig van Beethoven - Große Fuge B major op. 133

WDR Sinfonieorchester

WDR Sinfonieorchester

Saturday, June 11, came with a searing performance of Beethoven’s impossible Grosse Fuge by the Festival Orchestra string section. Concluding the concert was Mozart’s Symphony No 41: Jupiter. The performance snapped and crackled as if powered by the lightning bolts of Zeus.

The third concert of the festival was on Tuesday, June 14, and featured violinist Augustin Hadelich. The opening piece of the concert was Robert Schumann’s *Symphony No. 3: Rhenish. Schumann’s depiction of the Rhine River surged to life as Music Director Michael Francis steered the orchestra through this most romantic of romantic-period symphonies.

Augustin Hadelich performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. At the 2019 festival, Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra. It was one of the greatest performances I had witnessed. So too it was with the Mendelssohn. The bar of has been set again by Mainly Mozart.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

There are two remaining concerts in the 2022 Mainly Mozart Festival, Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18. The Saturday concert concludes with Mozart’s Requiem.

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Augustin Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.
Augustin Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

Now we come to the easiest and most difficult articles I write each year, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra articles. These are easy because the orchestra is nigh unto flawless. These are difficult because I quickly run out of superlatives. Finding fault is so much easier than describing greatness.

Video:

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto

Jochen Tschabrun / Alondra de la Parra

Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Jochen Tschabrun / Alondra de la Parra Frankfurt Radio Symphony

There have been three concerts in this edition of the Mainly Mozart Festival. The concerts are held outdoors at the San Diego Surf Cup Sports Park, formerly the Del Mar Polo Grounds. If there is one detractor from the musical experience, it is the outdoor setting. Yet I am told that ticket sales and attendance are stronger than when the festival was at The Balboa Theatre in the pre-Covid days.

The first concert, Friday, June 10 had just two pieces on the program. The Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No 4.

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto has long been a favorite of classical audiences. Mozart completed it in October of 1791 just a few weeks before his death in December of the same year. If Mozart’s music is perfect, the clarinet concerto is perhaps the most perfect of the perfect. The Mainly Mozart performance was a revelation of beauty and balance, particularly in the slow movement.

After Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 I spoke with a visiting musician who caught the concert. He said, “That was the best Beethoven Four I’ve heard since well—yeah.” I didn’t press him to clarify but I think I understood. He was saying that it was the best Beethoven he’d ever heard but no self-respecting musician wants to pronounce such a sweeping conclusion. I, on the other hand, am not a self-respecting musician and have no problem saying that I do not expect that performance to be exceeded in any future concerts I may attend.

Video:

Ludwig van Beethoven - Große Fuge B major op. 133

WDR Sinfonieorchester

WDR Sinfonieorchester

Saturday, June 11, came with a searing performance of Beethoven’s impossible Grosse Fuge by the Festival Orchestra string section. Concluding the concert was Mozart’s Symphony No 41: Jupiter. The performance snapped and crackled as if powered by the lightning bolts of Zeus.

The third concert of the festival was on Tuesday, June 14, and featured violinist Augustin Hadelich. The opening piece of the concert was Robert Schumann’s *Symphony No. 3: Rhenish. Schumann’s depiction of the Rhine River surged to life as Music Director Michael Francis steered the orchestra through this most romantic of romantic-period symphonies.

Augustin Hadelich performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. At the 2019 festival, Hadelich performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra. It was one of the greatest performances I had witnessed. So too it was with the Mendelssohn. The bar of has been set again by Mainly Mozart.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

There are two remaining concerts in the 2022 Mainly Mozart Festival, Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18. The Saturday concert concludes with Mozart’s Requiem.

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