Music in the Mountains will close its 24th season this weekend with two concerts featuring the Festival Orchestra in all its glory at Durango Mountain Resort.
The final weekend begins tonight in Pagosa Springs with an encore performance of Winds and More, a jumbo chamber concert starring pianist Aviram Reichert. He joins Paul Garner (clarinet), Laura Leisring (bassoon), Erin Hannigan (oboe) and Greg Hustis (French horn) in a repeat of Tuesdays program at DMR.
Saturday at DMR is a night of symphonies: Franz Schuberts unfinished Symphony in B minor, D. 759, and Antonin Dvoraks Symphony No. 8 in G. The festivals program notes describe Schuberts piece best an exquisite torso, musics Venus de Milo, and it will be performed in the most logical method with only the first two completed movements and no attempt to make up an ending for the unfinished third.
The Dvorak symphony, with a few momentary exceptions, is a breezy and upbeat piece, a perfectly light-hearted penultimate selection for the festival. In between the two symphonies, Conservatory competition winners David Castro-Balbi and Katherine Audas will sit in with the orchestra for two performances; Grand Prize winner Castro-Balbi will play Mendelssohns Violin Concerto, and First Prize winner Audas will be featured on Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1.
Sundays festival finale is A Night at the Opera, an ambitious program sampling music from five operas (no vocals) wrapped around Sergei Prokofievs Classical Symphony No. 1 in D Major and Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings, Op. 11. Prokofiev wrote that he intended the piece to be as Haydn might have written it, had he lived in our day, which at the time was 1917. He came pretty darn close, too, to capturing the sound and feel of his Classical predecessor. Barbers widely known composition will provide a nice string-heavy interlude to the operatic program.
As for the operas, there are the ubiquitous, including Rossinis overture to The Barber of Seville and the prelude to Verdis Aida, as well as lesser-known works. Those include the Leonore Overture No. 3 from Beethovens lone opera as well as Y ahora que te has ido by Mariano Morales and Bedrich Smetanas overture to The Bartered Bride, which gets a bit more play.