Mozart

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely."

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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.

courtesy of the artist

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."

from Amazon

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.

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