Tomorrow's opening night gala features the first of those two Golijov scores — the cello concerto Azul, which receives its "indoor world premiere" (in a newly revised version). (The work's first performance was last summer at Tanglewood.) Alisa Weilerstein will be the soloist, with festival music director Louis Langr_e conducting the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (MMFO); also on the program — which will be repeated on August 1 — will be Mozart's "Linz" Symphony (No. 36) and Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto (No. 5), with pianist Paul Lewis.
The Beethoven focus continues through the festival's first week, with the St. Lawrence String Quartet traversing the composer's late quartets in three off-hour concerts (August 1-3); Paavo J‹rvi conducting the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (August 2) in the Symphony No. 7 and the Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Ingrid Fliter; and an afternoon of video presentations under the title "Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven" (August 5).
August 4 will see a veritable Beethoven bacchanale: a two-part concert offering the same program Beethoven himself presented in a legendary four-four marathon performance at Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808. Langr_e will lead the MMFO and the Swedish Radio Choir in the Sixth Symphony, the concert aria "Ah! perfido" (with soprano Anja Kampe), the Gloria from the Mass in C major, the Piano Concerto No. 4 (with soloist Jeffrey Kahane), the Fifth Symphony, the Sanctus from the Mass in C major, and the "Choral Fantasy."
The theme of spirituality in music will be explored with performances of five sacred masterpieces (in addition to the Beethoven works at the marathon concert): Faur_'s Requiem in its original version of 1893, performed by the Swedish Radio Choir and MMFO under Langr_e's baton (August 7); excerpts from Rachmaninoff's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, again sung by the Swedish Radio Choir (August 8); Golijov's La Pasi‹n seg‹n San Marcos, performed by the Schola Cantorum of Caracas under conductor Robert Spano (August 18-19); Diego Fasolis conducting the ensemble I Barocchisti and the Swiss Radio Choir (Lugano) in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 (August 20); and, to close the festival, Langr_e conducting the MMFO and the Schola Cantorum of Caracas in Mozart's Requiem (August 24-25).
Also tying in with the music and spirituality theme will be a visual art installation by the OpenEnded Group, the three-man collective responsible for Enlightenment at Mostly Mozart 2006. The new artwork will feature large banners hung from columns on two sides of Avery Fisher Hall's fa‹ade, with printed texts and diagrams illuminated by computerized lighting combining with amplified music.
One of the great successes of last year's festival, choreographer Mark Morris's evening-length work Mozart Dances, gets a return engagement this year, August 15-18. Once again, pianists Emanuel Ax and Yoko Nozaki will provide live music, along with Langr_e and the Festival Orchestra.
Latin American sounds will be featured in a "late-night jam session" arranged by Golijov on August 19: several musicians performing in his Pasi‹n seg‹n San Marcos will take part, as will special guest Cristina Pato, a virtuoso on the Galician bagpipes who has played with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. On the festival's closing program, alongside the Mozart Requiem, the Schola Cantorum of Caracas will sing 20th- and 21st-century a cappella works from South America.
Period-instrument concerts will include, in addition to the Monteverdi Vespers, two programs of Mozart music for winds played by the ensemble Zefiro (August 11-12), and Schubert's Eighth and Ninth Symphonies performed by the Netherlands-based Orchestra of the 18th Century under conductor Frans Br‹ggen (August 23). (The Monteverdi and Schubert concerts were programmed by Golijov, who considers those works particularly important to him.)
Among the other notable visiting artists at Mostly Mozart this summer are violinists Christian Tetzlaff and Joshua Bell, pianists Marc-Andr_ Hamelin and Shai Wosner, and conductors Ludovic Morlot and Osmo V‹nsk‹.
Once again this year, the festival will reconfigure Avery Fisher Hall to place the orchestra on a platform near the center of the auditorium, with additional audience seating on what is normally the stage.
Complete program information for the 2007 Mostly Mozart Festival is available (as are tickets) at www.lincolncenter.org.