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Hear A Concerto That's Like A 'Character Of A Great Mozart Opera'

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The Mid-Texas Symphony features a smaller-sized ensemble this weekend, according to Music Director David Mairs, but that also brings an opportunity to perform some Classical-era pieces that would work well with fewer players. On the program this Sunday afternoon is Antonio Vivaldi’s “Sinfonia No. 3,” Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5.

At the urging of Mid-Texas concertmaster Craig Sorgi, David Maris invited the orchestra’s assistant concertmaster, Laura Scalzo, to be the featured soloist on the program.

“We went to her and I said, ‘look we got a small orchestra we can feature in this concert, do you have any pieces you’d like to do?’” Mairs recalled.

Scalzo said the Mozart concerto has always been a favorite of hers, and it brings particular challenges, particularly with a smaller group. “When you listen to it, it doesn’t sound hard in the way that Paganini or Tchaikovsky does. But to play it well, it’s clean and it’s exposed, and just one tiny little thing, and you can hear it,” she explained.

Long a favorite of Scalzo’s for auditions, she says this is the first time she’ll be playing the work with an orchestra, and not just a piano accompaniment. “It changes everything,” she said with a smile. “I’m so excited.”

Describing the piece, Scalzo said the Mozart concerto “has an almost Romantic quality.” Scalzo said she may play with “a little bit more vibrato… more slides.

“To me [it’s like one of the] characters of a great Mozart opera. When I’m performing it, I hope I can bring that across to the audience.”

The Mid-Texas Symphony performs this Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium on the Texas Lutheran University campus in Seguin.