The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Tonight at 7 p.m. Wisconsin Public Television will present the opening concert of the Mostly Mozart Festival, with host Itzhak Perlman, on “Live From Lincoln Center”

August 2, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

Did you see and like soprano Susanna Phillips (below) when she sang Gershwin’s “Summertime” with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra last week at a Concerts on the Square?

Did you miss her appearance and wish you had heard her?

In either case, you may want to tune into Wisconsin Public Television tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. CDT. That’s when PBS will broadcast the opening of the 2011 Mostly Mozart Festival on “Live From Lincoln Center.” ) Check your local PBS affiliate for listings and times.)

The host of tonight’s episode in 30-year-old, Emmy-winning series – which is produced by University of Wisconsin alumnus John Goberman (below top), by the way — will be superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman (below bottom).

The guest artists will be Susanna Phillips, the highly acclaimed German violinist Christian Teztlaff (below top), and violist Antoine Tamestit (below bottom).

The program features some of the best Mozart, and to The Ear’s mind that means some of the best music ever written. (But I also think some of Mozart’s most minor works are some of the most minor and predictable and, yes, even boring, works ever composed.)

On the program will be the upbeat Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” and arias from the dark opera “Don Giovanni” as well as the heartbreaking Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, often used for film scores — the popignant seocnd movement is at bottom — and the Symphony No. 36, the “Linz.”

Festival director Louis Langree will conduct the Mostly Mozart Orchestra (second from top). By all accounts, Langree has injected new life into the famous and much imitated festival that was starting to fade a bit into predictability.

Let us know what you think of the opening concert and if you agree about Louis Langree.

The Ear wants to hear.

In the meantime, here is a link to the homes website with more information, including videos, about the performers and the program plus historical notes about he works to be played:

Posted in Classical music

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