Mozart revitalized through orchestra performance

Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, age 14, in Verona by Saverio dalla Rosa, 1770. (Courtesy of Wiki Commons)

Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, age 14, in Verona by Saverio dalla Rosa, 1770. (Courtesy of Wiki Commons)

Past orchestra performances have showcased dark and dramatic pieces, but the DVC Philharmonic and concert choir took a lighter, more spirited approach as they featured the works of one of classical’s greatest composers, May 15, for the final orchestra performance of the season. 

As the title “Mozart, Family and Friends,” would suggest, the night was a tribute to the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as his associates. It was also an opportunity for two of the music department’s most powerful forces – the orchestra and choir – to come together and provide a satisfying and intellectually stimulating experience, and they succeeded.  

Without introduction, the orchestra began with the overture to Mozart’s opera, “Idomeneo.” The piece, a tale of love and triumph after the Trojan War, was more blissful than the orchestra’s usual fare. Its elegant melody, authoritative tone and allegro tempo made it an appropriate piece to start off the night with its seamless blend of emotions. 

The next piece was Trumpet Concerto in D Major by Mozart’s lesser-known father, Leopold. Much like Mozart’s earlier piece, this was also graceful and flowery in tone, even featuring a harpsichord emulated on an electronic keyboard by Lo Chau. The piece had a very anthemic, wedding processional-like quality, almost like Pachelbel’s Canon, but with more variety. It showcased principal trumpet player Brendan Galvin, who did an excellent job leading the rest of the orchestra along for this impressive performance. 

The next section was a medley of arias from some of Mozart’s famous operas, like “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” with the vocals performed by 25-year veteran mezzo soprano, Joyce Pricco. Pricco delivered with an utterly convincing voice and dynamic range which guided the pieces along. 

The rest of the evening was devoted to works from Mozart’s peers, Beethoven and Haydn. The performance of the Leonore Overture from Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” was a somewhat dramatic turn from the previous pieces, as it was darker and slower in tempo, but would often alternate with lighter melodies. The nearly 100 member  choir came down from the sides of the auditorium to join the orchestra for Haydn’s Te Deum. The voices blended together nicely as the orchestra demonstrated the same elegance and grace as the previous pieces. 

The orchestra delivered a strong finale to an eventful season, and the audience showed its approval with enthusiastic applause. For the 2010-2011 concert season, the orchestra will continue to perform great pieces of musical literature, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and Schumann’s “Rhenish” Symphony.