Mozart’s swan song - The Buffalo News

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Mozart’s swan song

Born in Puerto Rico, Ricardo Morales is the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Before that, he was principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. All his musical experiences will come into play this weekend when he joins the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for Mozart’s sublime Clarinet Concerto.

One of the last pieces Mozart wrote, this piece has unusual beauty and a valedictory quality. As BPO Principal Clarinetist John Fullam once said to me, discussing the piece, “His bags were packed.” Some scholars argue otherwise, but listening to the music, all you can think is that, young as he was, Mozart knew he was going. Particularly in the first and second movements, the Clarinet Concerto’s otherworldly feeling mirrors other music dating from Mozart’s final months, such as the Requiem and the “Ave Verum Corpus.” See what you think. Morales should give it a fine performance.

Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts the concert, which begins with Ravel’s quirky “Mother Goose Suite” and ends with Bartok’s Suite No. 1. The Bartok is slated to be included on an upcoming Naxos recording, an exploration of the invigorating music of the Hungarian master.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $28-$76. For information, call 885-5000.

– Mary Kunz Goldman

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