New York Philharmonic: Avery Fisher Hall 20 June 2012

Another night at the symphony – this time it was an all Mozart concert. There was a pre-concert talk by Joelle Wallach, which I missed most of. I’m sorry I did because she obviously loved the subject and was enjoying herself so much as she told stories about Mozart. She played a beautiful canon, written by Mozart, sung in German. The translated lyrics include “kiss my ass.” Both humor and music permeated Mozart’s life.

With Alan Gilbert conducting, the New York Philharmonic performed “Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major, K.482.” Emanuel Ax played piano. For the start of the first movement he just sat and listened to the orchestra. I could see his body rocking back and forth and his head bobbing up and down and I realized that I was doing exactly the same thing. I love Mozart. And then he started to play and his hands were moving so fast and the notes were so intricate that I was smiling and laughing in delight. During the second movement the woodwinds get an opportunity to shine – the musicians took a special bow at the end.

The second piece was the “Mass in C minor, Great, K.427.” This is one of those unfinished Mozart works and you can tell what he wrote and what someone else wrote – the parts that aren’t his sound clumsy. Paul Appleby (tenor) and Joshua Hopkins (baritone) sang briefly with the women. Each of the sopranos took a solo besides singing duets with each other and trios and quartets with the men. Jennifer Johnson Cano (mezzo-soprano) has a beautiful voice but I felt like I was listening to someone at a recital. She kept moving her body around to convey feelings that should have been clear simply by listening to her voice. Jennifer Zetlan (soprano) was so graceful – she was perfect for Mozart. The chorus was Joseph Flummerfelt’s New York Choral Artists. They were so powerful. Hearing a classical chorus that good is like hearing a gospel choir – it almost makes me believe in god.

By Carene Lydia Lopez