Mozart, the guy whose music can increase your IQ, will be the only composer on the program next week in Manito Park. This seems appropriate, since Connoisseur Concerts’ title for the event is Mozart on a Summer’s Eve.
All of the classical wunderkind’s tunes will be presented in transcription, however, as the ensemble performing is an eight-piece wind band. Although Mozart actually wrote for this instrumentation, the summer concerts have cycled through the serenades and have moved on in search of new literature which works for the group.
One transcription on the concert is especially worthy of note. It is the three-movement Mozart Piano Sonata in B-flat, K. 570, and the noteworthy aspect is that it has been rewritten by someone who is not older than Mozart ever got. Sean Barker, recently graduated from East Valley High School, is responsible for the work.
Barker has played principal clarinet in the Spokane Youth Symphony this past year and has also been involved in a woodwind quintet there. He has arranged a couple of full orchestra pieces, including one by Johann Bernard Bach which the Youth Symphony performed this past season, and a dozen or so selections for the woodwind quintet, which due to the size of the ensemble, are easier to put together and perform.
Barker is heading to Western Washington University in the fall to study music. Asked if he had started composing yet, he said he had a few things on the computer, but was looking forward to getting more of a theory background in college before going for it. In the meantime he is happy and fortunate to have professional musicians to perform his transcription.
Mozart on a Summer’s Eve will also feature a fair amount of opera in instrumental and vocal form. This will include overtures to “The Magic Flute,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Cosi fan tutti,” as well as vocal selections from the last. Six singers from Uptown Opera will perform the finale from the first act of “Cosi.”
The title of the opera roughly translates to “they all do it,” referring to the fickleness and deceptive qualities of lovers, both men and women. The plot has two men betting that their fiancees will be faithful, and switching partners in disguise to seduce each other’s betrothed. They both succeed, thereby losing their bets, but the opera ends with all happier and somewhat wiser.
The end of act one finds us in the midst of the opening volley: The guys are pretending to be off at battle, the gals are lonely and questioning the faithfulness of soldiers out of sight, their maid suggests finding some local boys, and Don Alfonso, the mastermind of this deception, introduces the guys anew disguised as rich, swaggering Albanians. Mozart’s music for this is good, too.
The instrumental ensemble will continue Mozart’s bawdy side with a perky little canon whose lyrics defamed the character of a friend of Mozart by comparing him to a body orifice in a manner not commonly used in a family newspaper. The performance will be instrumental, but your imagination may fill in the words, if you wish.
Verne Windham, the music director for the event, also promises transcriptions of a clarinet quintet and the “Ave Verum Corpus.” These selections may serve to move your IQ in a different direction than the bawdy stuff, but hey, mental stimulation is still stimulation.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Mozart on a Summer’s Eve will take place on the lawn just east of Duncan Gardens in Manito Park on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Advance $20 tickets include table seating with dessert and coffee; $5 tickets for lawn chair or blanket seating may be bought in advance or at the park. Tickets are available at G&B; Select-a-Seat outlets or call (800) 325-SEAT. You may bring your own picnic or order in advance from Luna at 448-2383.