Falmouth Chorale Celebrates Mozart’s 260th Birthday with an All-Mozart Concert

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The Falmouth Chorale, led by Artistic Director John Yankee, opens its season with “Mozart 260,” an all-Mozart concert commemorating the 260th anniversary of his birth. The concerts takes place on Saturday, October 22, at 4 PM, and Sunday, October 23, also at 4 PM, at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street, Falmouth.

The concert will feature a variety of light music drawn from the immense body of work Mozart composed during his short, but prolific, life. On the program are “Eine Kleine Nachtmusic,” the “Sparrow” Mass, and scenes from “The Magic Flute.” A quartet of soloists and a chamber orchestra will augment the 65-member chorale.

The strings open the concert with “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” generally translated as “a little night music.” In German, the phrase literally means “a little serenade.” Not published until well after Mozart’s death, the serenade remains one of his most well-known and most-lived orchestral works.

Obliging the Archbishop of Salzburg’s wish that no Mass last more than three quarters of an hour, Mozart, at the age of 19, composed the Missa “brevis e solemnis in C, nicknamed the Sparrow Mass. The nickname alludes to the chirping birdsong motif emanating from the violin’s “Sanctus.

Vocal soloists Rachele Schmiege, soprano; Meredith Ziegler, mezzo-soprano; Stefan Barner, tenor and Mark D. McGrath, baritone are featured in the “Sparrow Mass” as well as in “The Magic Flute.”

“The Magic Flute,” an opera in two acts, was one of Mozart’s final compositions. It premiered in 1791, and captures the fanciful tale of Tamino and Pamina as they seek to gain freedom from their oppressors.

A self-described “Mozart freak,” Mr. Yankee wrote his graduate composition/theory thesis on “The Magic Flute.” He can tell you almost anything you might want to know about Mozart, including that his birthday is on January 27, and that Mozart never needed a piano to compose. “He heard everything in his head,” Yankee said. Yankee’s advice to anyone hoping to perform Mozart well: “You don’t guess. It’s Mozart. You read. You count. You practice.”

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $5 for students. Prior to this first concert of the 2016-2017 season, discounted season tickets are available online at falmouthchorale.org. Call 774-392-2383 for further information. The Falmouth Chorale may be found on Facebook at facebook.com/falmouthchorale/.

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