Hear that Mozart in the distance? It’s the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, awakening from its midwinter slumber. This weekend, the orchestra is playing an all-Mozart concert in honor of the master’s birthday, Jan. 27 – a date that has become a kind of holiday in the music world.
The distinguished Polish conductor Pawel Przytocki conducts the concert, which also features the piano duo of Christina and Michelle Naughton. Identical 23-year-old twins trained at the Curtis Institute, the Naughtons are creating a kind of sensation through their performances of a wide variety of four-hand and two-piano music. This weekend, they are playing a gem of the repertoire: Mozart’s Concerto For Two Pianos and Orchestra. Featured in the soundtrack of “Amadeus,” this concerto is a glorious piece, with a beautiful, bittersweet slow movement and an athletic finale that brings the house down. Chances to hear this marvelous concerto do not come up often. The first time the BPO performed it was in 1938, with the flamboyant Buffalo native Guy Maier and his wife, Lois, as soloists. The most recent time was in 1966. Lukas Foss conducted, and the performance featured the celebrated piano team of Gold and Fizdale.
This weekend’s concert also features another seldom-heard piece, Symphony No. 34. It’s an entertaining piece, in three movements, with a vivacious, almost crazed last movement. The concert opens with the bubbly overture to “The Marriage of Figaro.”
Admission is $27-$74. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Call 885-5000.
– Mary Kunz Goldman