Stevie Ryan's Home Page


The Citizens Voice
Philharmonic, Ryan give stellar Mozart concert
By Al Choman, Citizens' Voice Music Critic March 16, 2002
Following a two-month layoff, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic resumed its season's schedule Friday evening with "Mostly Mozart" before an audience of 1,200 people at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre.
Showcasing the talents of pianist Steven Ryan, the Philharmonic, under the baton of maestro Clyde Mitchell, featured two of Mozart's most intricate pieces, Symphony No. 41 also known as the Jupiter Symphony and Piano Concerto 20 in d minor.

The concert will be repeated tonight beginning at 8 at the Mellow Theater in Scranton.
After Maestro Mitchell's appointment last summer, one of the things we learned right away was that Mozart was one of his favorite, composers.

Although the season schedule was made up prior to his arrival, Mr. Mitchell's passion for the program Friday evening was clearly evident.  Mr. Mitchell spoke in a reverent tone as he laid the course for the evening's concert. The maestro told of passion, and emotion and depth, all of which became self-evident as each piece unfolded.

The Philharmonic began the concert with a solemn interpretation of Ave, Verum Corpus, K.618. The piece was used in the early days of the catholic church in part for hymnal use, while Friday night's interpretation was Mr. Mitchell's adaptation for orchestra only.

Pianist Steven Ryan was simply magnificent during Concerto No. 20. No stranger to the Northeastern Philharmonic family, Mr. Ryan played effortlessly during Mozart's Concerto from 1785. The piece stands as one of only two that Mozart wrote in a minor key.

Mr. Ryan's lucent playing on the Steinway grand piano ebbed and flowed with the composition perfectly.

In a composition that is at times whimsical and lyrical, and at others intense and tempestuous, Mr. Ryan both envisioned and interpreted them with masterful clarity.

Following intermission, Maestro Mitchell conducted two Mozart pieces, Divertimento in F Major for Strings, K.138 (I.Allegro Vivace, II. Andante and III. Presto), and Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K551. (I. Allegro Vivace, II. Andante cantabile, III. Minuetto and IV. Molto allegro).

Symphony no. 41 (Jupiter Symphony) is considered to be Mozart's largest and complex. Much like they played for all of the program, Maestro Mitchell and the orchestra were stellar during the oft-dramatic, celebratory composition.
During the piece, multiple themes intertwine and allow great latitude for players and conductor. The orchestra responded in much the same way Maestro Mitchell viewed the piece - majestically!

The performance received corporate sponsorship from Procter & Gamble, Alltel, Klein Wholesale and Frances P. Nork Endowment.

Stevie Ryan's Home Page