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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Life + Arts

Musicians bringing Mozart back


With the help instruments that Mozart himself would have used, a consortium of musicians are set to take us back in time with breathtaking music.

“The Amadeus Project: Bringing the Past info Focus” begins at 7:30 p.m. today inside UH’s Moores Opera House.

The program is set to include three of Mozart’s piano concertos including the “Concerto in A major, K. 414,” the “Concerto in G major, K. 453” and the “Concerto in C minor, K. 491.” Time-period instruments will be in use including the fortepiano, the predecessor of the modern piano.

The project is the brainchild of Timothy Hester, a UH piano professor who will wear two hats this evening — fortepianist and conductor.

“This is uncharted territory,” Hester said. “I’d guess less than one percent of the population actually knows what a fortepiano sounds like.”

Hester will be assisted by the finest period instrumentalists brought in for the project—including players from Mercury Baroque, the Cambini Woodwind Quintet, Houston’s Ars Lyrica, among others.

The concerti follow the trend of an expanding orchestra. The “Concerto in A,” written during Mozart’s early Vienna years is simply scored—unique for being one of few that can also be performed as a piano quintet. The “Concerto in G,” has a more vital woodwind presence.

The program concludes with the later “Concerto in c minor,” which dovetails the trend of an expanding orchestra. Here, Mozart adds clarinets, trumpets and timpani to the mix. Expect dark colors in the outer movements.

Hester noted it was fantastic to work at a university that supports originality.

Tonight’s concert is sponsored by UH’s GEAR program, ExxonMobil, A. I. Lack Series, Young Audiences of Houston and KUHA-FM.

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