This weekend wraps up the third annual Mozart Festival Texas. A solo recital takes place Friday night with Rick Rowley. Saturday an orchestral concert rounds out the festival with two masterpieces: the 'Jupiter' Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 20. Terry Frazor will conduct and feature piano soloist Ryo Yanagitani, a former Gold Medalist with the San Antonio International Piano Competition.
The music of Mozart has not gone out of style since his time, and the third incarnation of the Mozart Festival Texas has some of the master's greatest works on tap. "Of course, we feature other composers too," says founder and maestro Terry Frazor. "This year Beethoven, Brahms, and even Scarlatti get their due."
With temperatures in the triple digits and repeats on television, it is easy to turn to the movies. Summer blockbusters have been hit and miss so far in 2013, and with streaming so easy these days with Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, and Amazon, our own John Clare has been scouting out some great titles and performances for you:
I really adore Mozart's Sister ("Nannerl, la soeur de Mozart") a 2010 film I ran across on Netflix (and available to stream on Amazon too). It can easily be compared to Amadeus - thoroughly entertaining, while historically inaccruate.
Mozart's The Magic Flute, the last opera he lived to complete, has some of his most sublime and sublimely comic music. Technically, it's more of a musical comedy, what in German is called a Singspiel, a play with songs and spoken dialogue. I was excited to learn that it was filmed by Kenneth Branagh, whose Shakespeare movies I really admire. Mozart's mixture of fairy tale and high morality presents a great opportunity for a filmmaker; in 1975, Ingmar Bergman released a version for Swedish television that has become a beloved classic.
Seven years ago (2006), and with a 27 million budget, Kenneth Branagh made a film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute (read the film synopsis here.) The Peter Moores Foundation, who do amazing work translating opera into English, commissioned Stephen Fry to make this adaptation, and it remains witty, sexy, funny, passionate, and silly as the original libretto!
The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.