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Mozart, Brahms, Verdi 

When: Tue., June 8, 7:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $10-$65

The Coronation Mass is one of Mozart's most popular mass settings. This majestic work is heard alongside Brahms's achingly beautiful Schicksalslied and Verdi's Te Deum, one of the latter's last works. Under the masterful direction of Joseph Flummerfelt, Spoleto's Artistic Director for Choral Activities, the Westminster Choir and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus join forces with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra for a grand evening of music. Sponsored by South Carolina Bank and Trust and presented by Spoleto Festival USA.

Royal flush
Mozart didn't necessarily have nobility in mind when he wrote his Mass in C Major, K. 317, in 1779 — shortly after returning to his Salzburg home from a failed expedition in search of a cushy court position. The work's aristocratic nickname didn't catch on until 1791, after it was performed at the coronation of Emperor Leopold II of Austria.

The bold and the beautiful
This is the boldest and most colorful of the many early mass settings Mozart cranked out in Salzburg. Part of its inspiration came during his job-hunting journey, when he heard the fabulous orchestra of Mannheim, Germany, then Europe's finest, cutting-edge ensemble. Thus, much of the piece's broad appeal comes from its bright and innovative orchestration.

But that's not all
The Mozart piece is but the centerpiece of what promises to be a memorable evening, as legendary choirmaster Joseph Flummerfelt — the festival's director of choral activities — leads the Westminster Choir (reinforced by the capable Charleston Symphony Chorus) plus a band of top instrumentalists from Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.

— Lindsay Koob


click to enlarge WILLIAM STRUHS


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