Mostly Mozart Orchestra | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Mostly Mozart Orchestra 

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Gerard Schwarz, music director of both the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the New York Chamber Symphony, is one of the few young American conductors who specialize in eloquent interpretations of works by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. A rigorous classicist in the mold of Bruno Walter, he knows how to shape a phrase and unfold the logic so crucial to the music's dramatic effect. Lately he's become especially adept at Mozart's orchestral pieces; unlike, say, the slick Georg Solti, Schwarz resists the temptation to prettify or sentimentalize. At this all-Mozart concert Schwarz will lead Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in a pair of Mozart symphonies. The rarely performed Symphony no. 24 shows the young composer at age 17 still infatuated with Italian elegance but already laying the cornerstones for his own more logical and imposing style. The second major work on the program, Symphony no. 35 (aka Haffner) ushered in Mozart's most creative phase in symphony writing. Sumi Jo, the Korean-born soprano whose radiant, full-bodied voice has kept her in demand, will sing a couple of early concert arias and the queen's showstopping "Der Holle Rache" from The Magic Flute. Pamela Frank will solo in the Violin Concerto no 3. Next Thursday, 8 PM; Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642.

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