A composer is stepping from the shadows of distant history. He is Paul Wranitzky, who was born the same year as Mozart and won fame for his operas, chamber music and symphonies.
To achieve that kind of respect as a composer while at the same time having Mozart as a contemporary speaks of the quality of Wranitzky’s music. Born in Moravia, Wranitzky moved to Vienna and was part of the musical fabric of the era. He knew Haydn because they both worked for the noble Esterhazy family, who were patrons of music. After Mozart died, Wranitzky helped Constanze Mozart arrange publication of her husband’s Requiem. Beethoven wrote variations on a theme from one of Wranitzky’s operas. Wranitzky was esteemed as a conductor, too. He conducted the premiere of Beethoven’s First Symphony as well as the Viennese performances of Haydn’s masterpiece “The Creation.”
Tonight, the Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Landis, is performing Wranitzky’s oboe concerto, which has never before been heard on this continent. The soloist is Paul Schlossman, an eminent player who has frequently been a featured soloist at the Ars Nova Musicians’ “Viva Vivaldi” festivals.
The concert takes place at 7 p.m. today in the Cheektowaga Town Park band shell. It is part of the Polish-American Arts Festival. Admission is free, with donations appreciated. Visit www.cheektowagasymphony.com. – Mary Kunz Goldman