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Mostly Mozart Festival 2015: Program, Schedule, Tickets and Minute Videos from Lincoln Center

By Steve Nagel s.nagel@classicalite.com on Aug 12, 2015 03:17 AM EDT

Alas, we are closing in on the final weeks of this summer's Mostly Mozart Festival. Fear not, though, Classicalites. The home stretch of Mostly Mozart's past there at Lincoln Center have always been filled with must-hear performers in don't-miss programming, and this 2015 iteration is hardly going out with a whimper. Case in point: the much-awaited American stage premiere of British composer George Benjamin's love-hate opera, Written on Skin. Starring Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in the viscerally erotic roles they, themselves, originated, outgoing New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert leads the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in what's fast becoming the most revered English-language opera in some two decades.

Tickets are still available for Skin's Thursday, August 13 performance at 7:30, as well as the 3:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, August 15 at the David H. Koch Theater.

Wednesday evening over in Avery Fisher Hall, the Mozart Mozart Festival Orchestra stays in g minor for Mozart's own Symphonies Nos. 25 and 40. Conducted by maestro Louis Langrée, Mostly Mozart's intrepid Renée and Robert Belfer music director since August 2006, Matthias Goerne joins in the middle for Bach's catanta Ich habe genug, as well as three Schubert lieder.

Click here for tickets.

There's still more Mozart at Avery Fisher come 7:30 Friday and Saturday nights. Philadelphia Orchestra conductor-in-residence Cristian Măcelaru--in his Mostly Mozart debut--leads concertmaster Ruggero Allifranchini and the rest of the MMFO in Mozart's Symphony No. 39, followed by German pianist Lars Vogt performing Beethoven's sublime Piano Concerto, No. 4.

Click here to purchase Friday night tickets, here for Saturday evening's concert.

And then, it's back to Bach. On Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19, Joshua Bell, Classicalite's favored violinist/conductor, will be at both helm and heart for the Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042 and Mendelssohn's orchestration of Johann Sebastian's hallowed "Chaconne." English conductor and violinist Andrew Manze joins the bill for Schumann's Symphony No. 2 in C Major (which is, itself, heavily indebted to J.S. Bach), so do be sure to listen for MMFO principal oboist Randall Ellis' lines in the second movement scherzo.

Want to go on Tuesday at 7:30? Click here. Prefer the Wednesday date, same time, instead? Click here, Classicalites.

Finally, on Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart 2015 will conclude with a bang, insofar as Haydn could've envisioned, care of a stirring rendition of that grand Germanic oratorio, Die Schöpfung (that is, The Creation). Maestro Langrée will be back on the podium, but soprano Sarah Tynan, tenor Andrew Staples and bassist Brindley Sherratt will all be making their Mostly Mozart debuts here. James Bagwell's expertly prepared Concert Chorale of New York will fill out the harmonies. Sure, the bass trombone gets all the excerpted glory in the "Achieved is the Glorious Work" vivace, but we'll be listening to how Mostly Mozart's principal trumpet Neil Bahm handles those pedal points...

. . . in tandem with MMFO timpanist David Punto on the tonic and dominant, of course.

Click here to buy tickets for Friday at 7:30; click here for the Saturday night reprise.

Mostly Mozart concerts have been a summer staple in participating cities since 1966, an historically informed opportunity for the world's foremost interpreters of the canon. As the names implies, the fest frequently includes works by other composers from other eras, but it never strays too far from Mozart's spirit. Most of the composer's 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos and 21 operas have been programmed on the fest during the last half-century, along with many works by contemporary composers of international interest.

This year's Mostly Mozart Festival kicked off somewhat informally back on July 22, with a discussion between Lincoln Center president Jed Bernstein and three of the upcoming performers, followed later in the week by Mr. Langrée's program announcement. The formal concert start was July 28, apropos of a thoroughly Mozartian lineup (with the exception of a humble Chopin encore).

New this year, Lincoln Center has prepared a unique way for patrons to gain some insight into the performers' minds via a lovely series of Meet the Orchestra videos. These compact interviews, packaged in an affectionately termed "Mozart Minute," offer enthusiasts a critical lens into just what Mozart means in 2015.

Well, mostly.

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TagsMostly Mozart, George Benjamin, Written on Skin, Louis Langree, Lincoln Center, Matthias Goerne, Bach, Joshua Bell, Schumann, Haydn, James Bagwell, Mozart Minute

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