Mozart’s joyful genius infuses this Sunday afternoon concert featuring the elegant Concerto for Flute and Harp. In his Caramoor debut, French-Canadian conductor, Bernard Labadie, an internationally recognized expert in 18th-Century music, brings his effervescent style to a program of youthful Mozart works. For the concerto, OSL principal flute, Elizabeth Mann, is joined by Emmanuel Ceysson, the principal harp of the MET Orchestra.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Bernard Labadie, conductor
Elizabeth Mann, flute
Emmanuel Ceysson, harp
Mozart Symphony No. 17 in G Major, K. 129 Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major, K. 299 Mozart Symphony in D Major, K. 196/121 “La finta giardiniera” Mozart Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201
Before the Show
3:00pm Pre-concert conversation in the Venetian Theater with Bernard Labadie, Elizabeth Mann, and Emmanuel Ceysson.
Members, to redeem your complimentary tickets, add up to four Garden Listening tickets (per member and per event) to your cart and the complimentary price will be reflected at checkout once you’ve logged in to your account.
Enhance your Caramoor experience.
Symphony Court Dining
Enjoy a relaxed dining experience seated under a tented pavilion adjacent to the Italian Pavilion. Each buffet menu, designed and prepared by Great Performances, includes unlimited wine, beer, and sodas, or you are welcome to bring your own. You may choose to dine at a private table or communally with other concert-goers. Menus vary for each date; check the menu for below for the compete offerings.
Already purchased your tickets? You can still reserve your spot at Symphony Court by ordering online (be sure to select July 2) or by calling the Box Office at 914.232.1252.
Order by Tuesday at 5:00pm for the upcoming week's performance.
Let us pack your picnic for you! For heartier options, no lines, and the ease of ordering a picnic in advance this summer, consider choosing from our special picnic boxes offered by our caterer, Great Performances. View the menu and order by noting how many of each option you would like after selecting your seats for Orchestra of St. Luke's. Confirm by selecting "Add to Cart."Already purchased your tickets? You can still pre-order your picnic by ordering online (be sure to select July 2) or by calling the Box Office at 914.232.1252.
Order by Tuesday at 5:00pm for the upcoming week's performance.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and the Caramoor Summer Season. In its 41-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL’s principal conductor and the orchestra’s fourth titled conductor; previous music directors and principal conductors are Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Donald Runnicles. Bernard Labadie’s currently serves as Principal Conductor Designate.
OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that began giving concerts at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, the 21 virtuoso artists of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble make up OSL’s artistic core.
In its 41-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings
OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City’s premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, including more than 400 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.
Through its Education & Community programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free interactive music programs at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental instruction program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with community organizations and public schools in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Bernard Labadie has established himself worldwide as a leading conductor of Baroque and Classical repertoire, a reputation closely tied to his work as Founding Conductor of Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec. With these two ensembles, he regularly tours Canada, the US, and Europe in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Barbican, The Concertgebouw, and the Salzburg Festival, among others.
Labadie has become a regular presence on the podiums of leading North American orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto, and Miami’s New World Symphony.
The Canadian government has honored Bernard Labadie with the appointment as “Officer of the Order of Canada” in 2005 and he currently serves as Principal Conductor Designate of Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Increasingly in demand among period-instrument orchestras as well, he frequently leads the Academy of Ancient Music and has worked with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, and Collegium Vocale Gent Orchestra, and soon with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. 2017 conducting engagements feature debuts with the Norwegian and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lyon, and appearances with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne.
An eminent opera conductor, Maestro Labadie has served as Artistic Director of Opéra de Québec and Opéra de Montréal. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut during the 2009-2010 season with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, a work he also led at the Cincinnati Opera in 2011 and with which he made his 2017 debut at the Canadian Opera Company. Other highlights include Handel’s Orlando with Glimmerglass Opera, Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Mozart’s Lucio Silla with Santa Fe Opera.
Bernard Labadie’s extensive discography comprises many critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian, ATMA, and Virgin Classics labels, including a collaborative recording of Mozart’s Requiem with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, both of which received Canada’s Juno Award. Additional recordings include C.P.E. Bach’s complete cello concertos with Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy, and Haydn’s piano concertos with Marc-Andre Hamelin.
In 2016, Bernard Labadie received the Samuel de Champlain award in Paris. He was honored with a 2005 appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada and his home province named him a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec in 2006.
Labadie is OSL’s fifth titled conductor, joining the distinguished roster of Pablo Heras-Casado (2011-2017), Roger Norrington (1990-1994), Charles Mackerras (1998-2001), and Donald Runnicles (2001-2007).
Elizabeth Mann, flute
Orchestra of St. Luke’s principal flutist Elizabeth Mann is a featured performer in concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East. She is a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, has played principal flute with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev, and recently recorded and performed as associate principal flute with the New York Philharmonic. She has been principal flute of the Santa Fe Opera and Minnesota Orchestra, flutist of the Dorian Wind Quintet, and has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Aside from her work with OSL, Elizabeth Mann has performed as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and Minnesota Orchestra.
Liz has toured the U.S. performing the Mozart Flute Concerto under the baton of André Previn, soloed with Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall, and performed the “Brandenburg” Concertos with Jaime Laredo in Spain and Japan. She gave the U.S. premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Flute and Violin with Gidon Kremer, and premiered a solo flute piece by Joan Tower and a concerto by Peter Maxwell Davies. Liz has been featured at numerous festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival in Austria, and Caramoor Music Festival. She can be heard on more than 100 recordings, including a critically acclaimed CD of Chopin flute and harp transcriptions with Deborah Hoffmann titled Reflections.
Liz is a well-known teacher in New York and gives masterclasses across the country. She is involved with the Orpheus Institute at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and teaches at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. After winning the Boston Young Artist Concerto Competition at age 12, Liz’s career began with a solo performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She attended The Juilliard School as a student of Julius Baker.
With his powerful, virtuoso playing, Emmanuel Ceysson, the ‘enfant terrible’ of the harp, sweeps away all the clichés associated with his instrument. His infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy reveals the harp in all its sparkling splendour, in a world where poetry vies with temperament.
Since 2005 he has been a presence in such leading venues on the international musical scene as the Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau, Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Berlin Philharmonie, where his appearances in recital, concerto repertoire and chamber music regularly win high praise from the press. In 2006 he joined the Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris as Principal Harp; ever since then, his solo passages have frequently been singled out for mention by the Paris opera critics.
His unfailing commitment to his instrument has earned him the highest international distinctions. In rapid succession, he won the Gold Medal and a special performance prize at the USA International Harp Competition (Bloomington) in 2004, First Prize and six special prizes at the New York Young Concert Artist Auditions in 2006, and First Prize at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich in September 2009, thus becoming the first harpist to obtain awards at three major international events.
Emmanuel Ceysson became the first harpist to obtain awards at three major international events by taking home the Gold Medal at the USA International Harp Competition, First Prize at the New York Young Concert Artist Auditions, and First Prize at the ARD Competition in Munich.
He was Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 2005 to 2009 and has taught at the International Summer Academy in Nice since 2010; he also gives regular masterclasses in France and in the course of his foreign tours.
In 2010, Emmanuel Ceysson was nominated in the category ‘Solo Instrumental Discovery’ at the Victoires de la Musique Classique. In November 2011 he received a Prix d’Encouragement from the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France (Fondation Simone Del Duca) in recognition of his distinguished early career. A Naïve artist since January 2012, he is currently preparing a solo album based upon famous Opera themes.
At a Glance
Though he is by no means the only spectacular prodigy in the history of music, Mozart is one everybody thinks of first when it comes to astonishing musical gifts demonstrated at a young age and developed throughout the course of a lifetime (though in this case, alas, that lifetime was sadly brief ).
This program features four works by Mozart, written between the ages of 16 and 22. They reflect the experiences Mozart gained on his travels around Europe from a very early age, when his father showed him off to royalty in Vienna, Paris, and London, to high church officials in Rome, to leading musicians everywhere, and even to a group of scientists in London, who studied his abilities and published the first formal account of his extraordinary talents when he was just eight years old.
The tours benefited the Mozarts financially, but they also introduced young Wolfgang to the full range of musical styles and approaches in the Europe of his day so that, whenever he wanted, he could produce music that matched the taste of music lovers all over the continent, from Italy to England.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Symphony No. 17 in G Major, K. 129
About the Composer
The title page of Mozart’s manuscript of this symphony reads (in Italian) “Symphony | by Mr. Amadeo Wolfgango | Mozart, Knight, in the month of May 1772 | in Salzburg.” The honorific title of “Knight” had been bestowed on Mozart by Pope Clement XIV in May 1770 when he was just fourteen years old; the Order of the Golden Spur. It meant little for his normal daily life or income, but in an age of emperors and aristocrats, such titles could be useful in making an impression. It is likely that this title page was dictated by Mozart’s father Leopold, who effectively managed his young son’s talents for renown and professional advancement.
The date of May 1772 probably marks the point of completion of the work, but that is just about the only information we have regarding the work, and there is no indication of when it was first performed, though in all likelihood that came soon after its completion.
About the Work
Like several other early symphonies, this one seems to be influenced in its three-movement structure by the example of the operatic sinfonia, though in this case, there does not seem to be any actual overture turned to a new purpose. It is the second of three symphonies composed in May 1772. This was a good period for symphonies: between December 1771 and late 1772, he wrote no fewer than fourteen symphonies, roughly on the same scope as this one, three of which made use of material from one or another of his operas.
A Deeper Listen
This brief symphony opens with a vigorous full chord for the entire orchestra (including four-note multiple stops in the violins). What follows is a theme made up of a nervous little two-note rhythm—sixteenth note followed by a dotted eighth note—known as Lombard rhythm, sometimes called a Scotch snap. This recurs frequently throughout the movement and gives it its special character. The movement is in sonata form in which both halves are repeated.
The slow movement is a lyrical Andante in C major dominated by the strings, though oboes and horns comment now and then. The mood is songlike, tranquil and sweet, with a rich passage of interactive string figures. It too is in a brief sonata form (with a development only eight measure long), and both halves repeat.
The opening gesture in the Finale is a vigorous horn-call figure suggesting the vigor of the hunt, played by the full orchestra. This is a conventional musical gesture, one that Mozart himself reused to open his final piano sonata, K. 576, in 1789. It is a lively race with the feel of the gallop rousing in the listener the excitement of the chase. Already at sixteen Mozart was experienced in writing for the theater and calculating his audience’s reaction. A decade later he described a finale in The Abduction from the Seraglio in terms that would serve equally well here: The music must fast and loud and short “so that the audience doesn’t grow old before the time comes to applaud.”
Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major, K. 299/297c
At a Glance
Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp is one of his most Parisian compositions, not surprising, since it is a product of his 1778 visit to Paris with his mother (whose death there embittered the end of the journey). Mozart had hoped to become the center of attention of all fashionable Paris, but he quickly discovered that the great nobles and aristocrats might enjoy music, but they did their best to avoid paying for it. One of his greatest frustrations came in his dealings with the Count de Guines, who played the flute “extremely well” and whose daughter’s playing of the harp was “magnifique.” The father hired Mozart to teach the girl composition, though this proved impossible. “She has no ideas whatever—nothing comes. I have tried her in every possible way,” he wrote to his father. The lessons ended soon with the girl’s marriage. Mozart noted that the Duc de Guines had not paid him for several months of lessons and “a concerto of mine for flute and harp.” De Guines evidently commissioned the concerto from Mozart as soon as he arrived in Paris.
About the Work
The flute-and-harp concerto is truly a concertante symphony rather than a concerto, as is evident particularly when the solo instruments intertwine with other members of the orchestra, such as the oboes and horns in the last movement. The taste of Mozart’s Parisian patron (and of the Paris audiences) is reflected in the lighthearted galanterie, richly decorative, filled with charming tunes, and carefully avoiding any profound emotional depths, which would have been wasted in Paris. Such symphonies concertantes were greatly in vogue in Paris, with some French composers practically specializing in them. They offered the delight of varied sonorities of a wide range from just two solo violins (with orchestra) to a quartet of mixed wind instruments. Mozart’s work mixes one standard instrument from the genre (flute) with one much less commonly heard (the flute).
A Deeper Listen
Structurally the work follows the pattern of Mozart’s concertos, rich in prodigal melody designed to highlight the soloists against the orchestra. The first movement has an extended exposition with a brief orchestral ritornello and a varied solo passage that takes off from it, first echoing the orchestra then moving on to a plethora of new tunes. The development is necessarily brief after this expansive opening, and the recapitulation, too, keeps tighter rein on the soloists, while varying the details of thematic treatment. The slow movement completely drops the orchestral winds and divides the violas into two parts, producing a mellow backdrop against which the flute and harp can sing their dreamy song.
The finale, a rondo based on a dance melody in the style of a gavotte, brings back the horns and oboes in a role that grows more and more prominent as the movement continues, ultimately to become concertante instruments themselves. It may be true that this concerto plumbs no great emotional depths, nor does it rise to any heroic heights. Because of this, the flute and harp concerto has occasionally earned the opprobrium of those who complain that it is not something different than what Mozart clearly intended, but in its own charming way it reveals one aspect of Mozart’s musical personality—the powdered-wig Mozart writing to the tastes of society—as clearly as any score he ever turned out.
Symphony No. 51 in D Major, K. 196/121 (207a) “La finta giardiniera”
At a Glance
Mozart wrote operas from an early age, demonstrating his extraordinary ability to capture the personality of his characters and their emotions from his early teens. Every Italian opera began with an orchestral sinfonia, a term that was applied to the concert symphony as well. Some of his earliest symphonies reflected, or actually developed from, opera “symphonie,” which usually had three movements in a fast-slow-fast pattern. (The addition of a dance movement—the minuet—as an insertion before the fast finale eventually became established as the norm, at least in the Austrian-German realm, for the concert symphony.) But in the earlier years, concert symphonies imitated or actually repurposes music first heard to introduce operas. Eventually composers created similar works without an opera at all. Mozart’s symphonies are mostly of the concert type, but on several occasions in his early years he took an overture originally written for an opera and made it serve double duty as the opening movement or movements of a work to be played in concerts.
That is precisely what happened in this case. Between December 6, 1774, and March 7, 1775, Mozart was in Munich to rehearse his opera La finta giardinera (“The make-believe gardener-girl”) for its first performance on January 13, 1775. The opera was a success. Perhaps that is what convinced Mozart to get extra mileage from the overture by using it to open a symphony. (Oddly enough he did not write any symphonies while in Munich, though there would have been opportunities for concerts there, with an excellent orchestra. The symphonic version of this score was completed at home in Salzburg.)
A Deeper Listen
The overture is shorter and less complex than the first movements his orchestral symphonies, but that was the norm with an operatic sinfonia. Its high spirits capture the mood of the light comedy (in which Marchesa Violante and her servant woman pretend to be gardeners in the palace of the Mayor in order to be near her sweetheart and to prevent his marrying her rival, the mayor’s niece). There are plot twists the pleasures of which are anticipated in the liveliness of the first movement.
The Andantino grazioso was the second movement of the overture (a common feature at the time). It is a graceful and elegant movement that hints at the aristocratic world of the ladies in disguise, though like the first movement, it does not actually quote themes from the opera.
To complete the symphony, Mozart added a light but lively finale. The handwriting suggests that he wrote it in the spring of 1775 (perhaps right after returning to Salzburg), yet it is written on paper that he had used on his journey to Milan two years earlier. Perhaps he simply had a supply of the older paper (though that is not very likely, because score paper was not cheap, and would not generally be hoarded. Or perhaps he simply wrote this lively D-major Allegro in Milan and brought it out of a trunk to reuse later. In any case, it makes for a bubbling close.
Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201/186a
At a Glance
We tend to think of a symphony as a particularly demanding, large-scale orchestral work that will serve as the high point (and sometimes even the only piece) on an orchestral program. But in the eighteenth century—and especially before the last quarter of that century—the notion of “symphony” was altogether less pretentious.
Still, there are certain high-water marks along the way, scores that capture a new level of seriousness and complexity— attributes that often revealed themselves in music of considerable wit. One such score is the Mozart symphony conventionally identified as No. 29.
As with so many of Mozart’s Salzburg symphonies, we have no indication of the specific impetus that brought this work into being. It is part of a massive outpouring of symphonies in the early 1770s, mostly for the relatively small forces available to Mozart in Salzburg. (It was only after visiting Mannheim in 1778 that Mozart wrote to his father, “Ah, if only we too had clarinets! You cannot imagine the glorious effect of a symphony with flutes, oboes, and clarinets.”). But even though he was limited in his instrumentation, Mozart’s symphonies seem to aim in the direction of greater weight and significance.
About the Work
In the Symphony in A this weight can be seen partly in Mozart’s decision to compose three of the four movements (all except the Menuetto) in the shape that we call sonata form, generally regarded as a serious or intellectual approach. Each of these sonata-form movements has two substantial sections—the exposition and the development-recapitulation complex— that is supposed to be repeated, and in all three of these movements Mozart adds a further element of weight in a coda that brings the movement to a close. In addition, he seems intent on fusing some chamber music elements (especially the independent part-writing) with the older symphonic tradition. He may have developed this interest under the influence of Haydn, who was experimenting in many of the same ways early in the 1770s.
A Deeper Listen
The first movement is striking in its complete avoidance of the customary display of fanfares and dramatic bow-strokes to open the work. Indeed, it begins with the presentation of a sober argument—a quiet octave descent in the violins, followed by a gradually climbing figure in eighth-notes, all of this supported by the lower strings in a contrapuntal style suggesting the sobriety of church music. A repetition, though, is forte, with sustained octaves in the wind instruments and an imitation between upper and lower strings on the main theme. Mozart arrives quickly at the new key and presents a series of new thematic ideas of varying personality. The development is animated by running scale passages, and the recapitulation brings back all of the varied material of the exposition, now in the home key. The coda recalls the imitation of the opening once again.
Both the second and third movements are built on themes emphasizing dotted rhythms, a characteristic of much French music in the late eighteenth century, where it was considered especially stately. The slow movement is given over largely to the muted strings, with occasional support or echoing from the woodwinds, which act to enrich the string quartet texture. The Menuetto provides graceful contrasts of color and dynamic while concentrating single-mindedly (in the main section) on one rhythmic pattern.
The finale, Allegro con spirito, is really filled with spirit and fire. The measured tremolos, the trills, the racing scales up or down all keep the level of activity high, with only the slightest trace of relaxation for the secondary theme. Each of the major sections—exposition, development, and recapitulation—ends with a breath-taking upward scale to nothing. Has everything come to a grinding halt? But no! After a heart-beat’s pause, the racing figure continues in the next section of the piece. At the end of the recapitulation, this racing figure proceeds in a bold orchestral unison to the final energetic phrases. One more rushing scale to silence—and Mozart’s jeu d’esprit comes to its breathless conclusion.