Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Mozart's Gran Partita at Old St. Mary's

On Tuesday I attended the inaccurately named Noontime Concert at Old St. Mary's & heard George Cleve conductor members of the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra in Mozart's Gran Partita. Maestro Cleve led a civilized, unshowy performance without any rough edges. His tempos were neither fast nor slow, & the dance movements had a gentle sway. The instrumentalists all used soft attacks, & oboist Laura Griffith in particular made a clean, even sound that seemed to grow from silence. It worked especially well in the weightless adagio 3rd movement. I also liked the watery, rippling texture Maestro Cleve created for Variation 5 of the 6th movement.

Old St. Mary's audiences are usually quiet between movements, but this time there was a smattering of applause after the 1st movement & a lone clapper after the 3rd. The performance received a standing ovation, after which Maestro Cleve exhorted the audience, "Come to our festival! It's more expensive than this, but it's worth it!"

§ Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra
George Cleve, conductor and music director

Laura Griffiths / Ruth Stuart, oboe
Mark Brandenburg / Larry London, clarinet
Tony Striplen / Diane Maltester, basset horn
Debbie Kramer / Erin Irvine, bassoon
Glen Swarts / David Goldklang / Katie Dennis / Beth Zare, French horn
Mark Wallace, string bass

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Serenade No. 10 for Winds in B-flat major, K. 361/370a "Gran Partita"

Noontime Concerts
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.
Old St. Mary's Cathedral

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