Reviewed by Paula Citron
Pourquoi C’est Beau: Mozart
Le Festival de Lanaudière
Music by Mozart
Conducted by Stéphane Laforest
Commentary by Alex Benjamin and Laforest
Performed by Elaine Marcil, violin, Annie Parent, viola and Sinfonia de Lanaudiere
Aug. 10, 2011
Sometimes ideas that look good on paper, don’t pan out in reality. Pourquoi C’est Beau is a new series at Festival de Lanaudière that deconstructs the musical style of a composer. The first concert looked into why Mozart is beautiful.
The commentary, by artistic director Alex Benjamin and conductor Stéphane Laforest, was only in French. There was a long discussion before each movement, with the orchestra playing snatches of the piece as examples. The complete movement was played after the lecture/demo. The audience never got to hear the complete Symphony No. 40 as a unit. The Concertante for Violin and Viola fared better because all the talk was at the beginning.
This series, a sort of Music 101, should not be in the Amphitheatre. It was certainly sparsely attended. Perhaps it should be in one of the churches.
Instead of getting a beautiful afternoon of Mozart, we got a lot of talk.
Festival de Lanaudière continues in Joliette, Quebec until Aug. 7.