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Happy Birthday: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Robert KapilowTonight we went to see Robert Kapilow and the Jupiter Quartet at Jordan Hall doing his What Makes it Great program about Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Today was Mozart's 250th birthday.

We've been to quite a few of these before and they are fascinating. The first section is devoted to his explaining many of the details of the music with the musicians playing little sections. For contrast he writes simplified versions for comparison purposes. He also gets the audience to sing along or clap along to get the essence of the tune or the rhythm. He is humorous, knowledgeable and explains things very well. You learn a lot. I said to Robert if this is what studying musicology was like I would have liked to do it - I'm sure his approach is quite rare.

After the intermission the Jupiter played the whole piece. And then after that there was a question and answer session. He encouraged young kids to ask questions and they did. One asked - what do you think music will be like in 250 years? - an interesting subject to ponder.

Kapilow's Web site

The CD is here

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I almost wanted to use the question period just to thank them -- the piece has become such a cliché that it's been years since I actually listened to it and was reminded of how wonderful it was. As it turned out, a woman in the audience (with come kind of Central European accent) essentially did this: She said "I've known this piece for 70 years, and yet I felt I was hearing it for the first time tonight."

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