Mozart’s Serenade for Winds in C minor, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 39

The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra on Wednesday, August 20.

Much of Mozart’s music sounds relatively easy, which is why it can be so difficult. Romantic sturm und drang can hide all manner of sins, but unclouded classicism isn’t so forgiving. Without a lot of distracting flash, Mozart’s music must be played impeccably to really sparkle.

Sadly, the festival orchestra was not impeccable Wednesday evening. Maybe it was because the musicians don’t play together regularly, maybe they just had an off night, but the music never crystallized the way it should, and the winds had tuning issues, which made the Serenade for Winds rather unfortunate. Hearing lackluster Mozart at the Mostly Mozart Festival left me a bit dismayed, but the other composers’ works—and the piano soloists—made up for that disappointment.