Breckenridge Music Festival presents Mozart, Mendelssohn side by side |

Breckenridge Music Festival presents Mozart, Mendelssohn side by side

Courtesy of the Breckenridge Music Festival
Courtesy of the Breckenridge Music Festival |

If you go

What: Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2, Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge

Cost: Tickets range from $7 to $25, with a discount for ages 18 and younger

More information: Call the Riverwalk box office at (970) 547-3100, or visit

The Breckenridge Music Festival kicks off its Tuesday chamber concert series on July 21 with three chamber pieces. The show gives audiences the chance to compare two beloved musical masterminds — Mozart and Mendelssohn. Mozart exemplifies the Classical style, with his effortless execution of clarity, transparency and balance. Mendelssohn also gracefully wields the balance and control of the Classical era, but his compositions flow with romantic gestures and evocative fantasy.

Mendelssohn once wrote, “I consider it impermissible to compose something that I do not feel with every fiber of my being. It would be as if I were lying, for each note has just as specific a meaning as each word does, perhaps even a more distinct one.” The String Quintet No. 2 illustrates the emotional intensity of which Mendelssohn is capable. Rich textures and melodies offset dramatic moments and tender lyricism, remarkable contrasts sure to convey Mendelssohn’s passion to everyone in the audience.

Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds offers unexpected instrumentation. Unlike the typical woodwind quintet, this piece is written for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano. Though he enjoyed success in every major genre, Mozart always harbored an affinity for chamber music. Shortly after the quintet’s premiere in 1784, Mozart wrote to his father, “I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life.”

“Both quintets are full of lovely tunes and great interplay between the instruments,” said Marcia Kauffmann, executive director of the Breckenridge Music Festival. “The different instrumentations, however, make the overall sound of the two pieces quite different.”

“Three Nocturnes,” a trio from American composer Kevin Puts, provides a contrast to the German quintets. The piece features the clarinet, violin and piano, the three voices intertwining to evoke the tranquility of the night. Each instrument ascends with the melodic line at various times, while the remaining two instruments float along in gentle accompaniment. The composer creates striking musical colors and modern sonorities and brings the piece to its final, satisfying tonal closure.

David Danzmayr, the artistic adviser of the Breckenridge Music Festival, chose to highlight Mendelssohn’s compositions for the 2015 season, and Tuesday’s concert is no exception. The Riverwalk Center will host a showdown of a seasoned Classical favorite, Mozart, alongside his lesser-known but highly treasured contemporary, Mendelssohn.

For more information on this concert and the Breckenridge Music Festival, visit

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