Pianist Alon Goldstein, embraced and adored by Mississippi fans after multiple guest appearances in the state, enjoys a welcome return to the Thalia Mara Hall stage November 13 in Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Bravo II: Inspired Journeys.
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, in Goldstein’s hands, will be the spotlight draw in an evening that also features masterworks by Mendelssohn and Ravel.
Hailed for his expressive touch, musical intellect and vivacious dazzle, Goldstein talks about Mozart’s concerto like it’s a bosom buddy that’s also the life of the party. Goldstein shone in Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto last time here with MSO, and this work is considered the equivalent from Mozart with its large orchestra, royal flourishes and ceremonial nature. “It has trumpet! It has tympani! … From the first note, it’s quite magnificent.”
Mozart loved writing operas, Goldstein points out. “We all know ‘The Magic Flute,’ and we all know ‘The Marriage of Figaro.’ … So, what’s fascinating with Mozart’s piano concerti is that in some ways, they are like mini operas,” he says, imagining a swirl of story and drama within that musical world.
“You don’t have voices per se, but the way Mozart works the piece, there is a character for the flute, there is a character for the oboe, there is a character for the right end of the piano and there is a character for the left end of the piano.” Imagine the higher-voice tune as the female character, who might be a little upset with the male character.
“This concerto’s beginning is very ceremonial, very triumphant, but it doesn’t take long for the relationship to hit a sour note, and then the drama begins — and it’s usually because the left hand didn’t listen to the right hand,” he says playfully, clearly swept up in the tale. “It’s wonderful to hear how the piano is making a dialogue with the strings, or doing a dialogue with the oboe.
“The whole idea of a piano concerto is to have a soloist in a relationship with the orchestra, but Mozart broke it down. And instead of just a soloist versus orchestra, the flute and oboe each have their own character, strings have their own character, and you don’t just have a two-way relationship, you have five or more and it’s like a soap opera!
“It’s wonderful and somehow it all comes together …. and there will be a happy ending!”
Look forward to Goldstein sharing a few thoughts from the stage at the concert. CDs offer his brilliant playing in a take-home version, and this concerto is destined to appear on his next one for the Naxos label, hopefully next year.
Goldstein clearly relishes the music, drawn to its purity and delicacy. “What Mozart did so well is create drama, and unlike some concerti where the soloist is the star, here the soloist and the orchestra are the stars. We are all stars in this incredible opera!”
The concert’s “Inspired Journeys” title resonates with Goldstein’s own globe-trotting path, which took him from his native Israel to the U.S., to London, to Italy and back to the U.S., chasing artistic mastery and inspiration all along the way.
“You only live one time, as far as I checked last time,” he shared with Maestro Crafton Beck in a lively Happy Hour chat last February.
“I love going to different countries and just absorbing from the culture, to see what I learn, what I can do, and how I can bring it all to give to other people,” says Goldstein, whose concert appearances take him around the world, as well as right back to Jackson.
11.13.21 / Thalia Mara Hall / 7:30 pm / Jackson, MS / Tickets $29 & up: buy online here >
- Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture, Op. 26, (Fingal’s Cave)
- Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503, in C Major
- Ravel: Pavane pour one infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess)
- Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, Op. 90, in A Major, “Italian”
MSO is committed to the health and safety of our community, our patrons, and our musicians. We continue to monitor CDC guidelines, as well as those initiated by state, city, and county authorities. Protocols are subject to change accordingly. Please check our website for the lastest COVID information regarding each concert. Masks are required at Thalia Mara Hall.