Review: Mozart’s final year, via New York Philharmonic program led by Manfred Honeck

Posted on: March 18, 2019

“If you want to see how an orchestra can give a fresh polish to dusty old Mozart, head to Lincoln Center,” writes Joshua Barone in Saturday’s (3/16) New York Times. “There you’ll find a surprisingly novel Mozart program—played by the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday night under Manfred Honeck [music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra] and continuing through Tuesday—that, like a fugue, tells a story of the composer’s final year [1791] while mapping a journey of death and transcendence…. In what would be his final public appearance as a pianist, he gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, which the Philharmonic opened its program with on Wednesday, featuring Richard Goode … playing with restrained lyricism…. He didn’t perform an encore, which only heightened the contrast between the rosy concerto, a triumph of early 1791, and what followed after intermission: the Requiem, left unfinished at Mozart’s death. Mr. Honeck … opted … for a programmatic medley: ‘Masonic Funeral Music,’ the Requiem and ‘Ave Verum Corpus,’ played without pause… Mozart never meant for ‘Masonic Funeral Music’ to be an overture for the Requiem, but on Wednesday the juxtaposition was seamless.”

Posted March 18, 2019