Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ tops bill

Concert features composer’s last, most famous symphony

If you are familiar with only one Mozart symphony, chances are it’s Symphony No. 41, “The Jupiter.”

Maybe you’ve heard parts of it in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.” Or maybe you’ve heard Allen’s character, in “Manhattan,” famously include it in the list of things that make “life worth living” (ranked alongside “Groucho Marx” and “Willie Mays”).

Spokane Symphony Music Director Eckart Preu says the Jupiter proves that Mozart is a true genius.

Hard to argue with that. This is Mozart’s last symphony, his most famous and many believe his most beautiful and profound.

Symphony audiences haven’t heard it since 1997, but on Friday, the “Jupiter” drought will be over. It will be performed in a special “Best of Mozart” concert conducted by Preu.

There are other attractions as well – some involving food and drink. Part of the Fox’s lobby space will be transformed into a German wine bar, with German wines and food for sale, supplied by Glover Mansion catering. Coeur d’Alene Brewing’s special Maestro Brew beer, brewed to Preu’s specifications, will also be for sale.

This wine bar will be open both at intermission and before the concert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., so you can enjoy a German happy hour (and a half) before the concert begins.

“The Jupiter” won’t be the only Mozart on the bill. The Violin Concerto No. 3 will also be featured, with a different soloist performing each of the three movements: Jason Bell, Jason Moody and Jeanne Bourgeois. These are three of the symphony’s fine young violinists.

By the way, about that title: Mozart never called this symphony “The Jupiter.” It was apparently named by an impresario who wanted to invoke the most powerful of Roman gods, as well as give it a catchy name.

Still, you may detect a certain heavenly majesty, especially in the first movement. From there, it gets even more brilliant.

Here’s how Phillip Huscher put it in the program notes to a 2008 Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance: “Mozart can’t have known that this work would bring his own symphonic career to an end, but he couldn’t have found a more spectacular and fitting way to crown his achievements.”

The “Best of Mozart” concert can be paired with the June 5 “Best of the Movie Music of John Williams” concert at the Fox for a discounted price.

Tickets for both concerts together are $35, $55 and $75 – and you can add in a ticket to the “Maestro’s Brew Party,” an outdoor beer garden at the June 5 concert, for another $5 (it’s $15 if you don’t buy a ticket to the Williams concert).

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at jimk@spokesman.com.

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