Mark Mandarano, Artistic Director

Living with Viennese Classics

Delving into the music for the upcoming concert, I have my spirits lifted by the graceful, sweet, but deep and penetrating tunes and harmonies of great music from Vienna. To have Mozart’s E-flat Concerto performed by Benjy Hochman… it’s impossible to put into words the sense of anticipation I feel. That slow movement in C Minor is one of the world’s great creations. Fairly often, I hear Mina practicing Haydn as I move through the house and I know that soon, we will sit down together and work out the details, each finding new insights from the other’s point of view. In a week or so, we’ll have a run-through with piano as a part of the process that constantly builds until we reach the performance.

One of the real treats for me is this Serenade by Robert Fuchs. It’s always a pleasure to reveal a secret like this one. I feel reasonably confident that few, if any, will have heard of his name, let alone his music. In my private world of silent sound, as I accumulate the knowledge of the music in my mind, I feel assured that everyone at the performance will experience the sensational delight that comes from hearing a joyful, enriching piece of music for the very first time live! If you could imagine that the music of Brahms were to levitate and drift towards Mahler, with a dash of Johann Strauss, Jr., you’d be well on your way to imagining this Serenade by Fuchs!

Lastly, I have decided to add one more smaller work to the program, the early Langsamer Satz by Anton von Webern. It’s been a long time since I have performed this work and I am grateful to be doing it again.

Sitting in the Twin Cities, I am constantly breathing in this Austrian air — and smiling!

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