Is the heat starting to climb on you?
Is the cacophony of the city crushing your idyllic dreams of summer? are you sick of waking up covered in vodka sweat? Don’t you wish there were a better way?
Well, there isn’t. this is the hand you’ve been dealt, young rocker, so get used to it. It gets hot in New York every year, and right around the same time, too. It’s called July. And August. And until you can find some adjunct Fresh Air program that shuttles reprobate punks out to the country, basically, you are fucked. Summer in the city? Feh. It hasn’t been good since ’77 when Bushwick was on fire.
But here comes Grandpa with a solution. The pause that refreshes. A moment of clarity in the urban jungle. That’s why I am here. To give you the benefit of my experience. To condescend to you like the bitch motherfucker I am. And so I offer you Mozart.
The Mostly Mozart Festival happens every July and August at that playground of high culture Lincoln Center, and, aside from drinking a cold beer in a hot shower, I have found few things in life that can have such an impact on positive health in such a short time.
Despite his longevity, reputation and massive following, Mozart really is as good as they say. Kind of like an adult version of Pet Sounds. All that nice melody and no teenage angst!
Not that there is anything wrong with teenage angst, or a beat for beat’s sake—like that crud currently melting your ear buds. You know, whatever gets you through the night, it’s all good. But if you want to treat your brain to a cool glass of water, you’ll take my advice and get with Wolfgang Amadeus.
The highlights of the festival tend to be the “bigger” pieces—I never liked the way chamber music sounds in Avery Fisher Hall; it’s just too much goddamn air to push around in there—and this year we get my two favorite symphonies, Nos. 25 and 40, on an all-Mozart program Aug. 13 and 14 (remember, it is Mostly Mozart). Incidentally, these are the only two he wrote in minor keys. No. 25 is especially shredding, so much that I have come to call it the “Sonic Reducer Symphony,” and after you hear the opening four notes, I think you will, too.
Other big nights would be Aug. 3 and 4, featuring stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” concerto, Mozart’s “Turkish” Violin Concerto No. 5 and Beethoven’s often-overlooked but thrilling Symphony No. 2. and of course, the Grand Finale Aug. 20 and 21, featuring the astonishingly hip Piano Concerto No. 21, and the “Davidde Penitente,” a frighteningly gorgeous oratorio that’ll have you rethinking the true meaning of “heavy.”
>> Mostly Mozart Through Aug. 21 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. For information, visit www.lincolncenter.org.