Paul’s Pick of the Week: The Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s chamber program, “The Magnificent Mozart”: featuring Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (Anthony Marotta, clarinet) and Symphony No. 40 (Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor); Friday-Sunday.
Why you should go: It’s the orchestra’s annual all-Mozart program, and that by itself is worth the price of admission.
But I’d draw your attention to one supreme moment of Mozartian transcendence: the second movement of the Clarinet Concerto.
“It opens with a melody that must be one of the most beautiful ever written,” music historian Edward Downes has written, and I’ll not disagree. The beauty of the songful theme lies in its grace, serenity and simplicity. The clarinet soloist (GSO principal clarinetist Anthony Marotta) engages in a sweet-sad dialogue with orchestra like two friends reminiscing about old times.
The outer two movements offer delights of a contrasting sort, with up-tempo, sprightly melodies leading the revels. It’s a testament to the subtlety of Mozart’s late music that even passages of joy reflect hints of bittersweetness.
The restless “40”: Also from Mozart’s late period is the Symphony No. 40, the other major work on the program. A restless, emotional, rigorously argued piece, the symphony is one of Mozart’s most-often performed works.
The program opens with the lively Overture to “The Impresario.” It concludes with a mysterious encore, with the audience challenged to guess the piece.
Paul Hyde, a longtime Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Greenville Journal. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.
If you go
What: “The Magnificent Mozart,” by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra; Anthony Marotta, clarinet soloist; Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15-Saturday Nov. 16; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17
Where: Peace Center Gunter Theatre
Info.: 864-467-3000 or www.peacecenter.org