Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mozart Rules

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the best known and most loved composers in the classical world. He wrote great, accessible music. It's supposed to be good for your kids to listen to it. He started very young and died much too early.

Playing Mozart is an amazing thing. It's an exercise but also a blissful release, when you contribute your part to the orchestra as it moves along through fast and slow passages, the dynamics roar or whisper, the notes pour out or sing solo in delicate beauty. You have 40 people participating with instruments and hundreds listening and it becomes an event--an altered state of mind.

Today, the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra, of which I am a member, played three Mozart pieces along with two other amazing works. The program went very well, thanks to fine conducting by Josh Cohen, our leader, as well as guest conductors Todd Wetherwax, Sandra Noriega and Tom Baker, who all stepped in and kept us moving and playing the pieces effectively. Mr. Baker had the distinction of composing one of our pieces, conducting it, and also playing viola and piano (not all at once, of course).

Community orchestras bring the pleasures of classical music to the public at very reasonable prices, and give amateur musicians a chance to work on important and valuable works and grow as performers.

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