Lima Symphony to perform Mozart and Salieri

LIMA — For Maestro Andrew Crust, conducting the music of Mozart is a dream come true, and that is exactly what will happen when the Lima Symphony Orchestra takes the stage to perform pieces by Mozart and Antonio Salieri at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.

“This is my first time performing Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and it’s a piece which is very close to me because my mother always played it when I was a kid growing up, out of our stereo system with giant speakers,” Crust said. “So as a child, I already had this music in my ears and I think it actually shaped my mind in a way so it’s very close to my heart. And to be able to do that with the Lima Symphony as a music director and with the chorus is exciting for me personally.”

Crust said that the piece, which will conclude the concert, was the last work Mozart created, but that he never finished it, dying, as the story goes, after he rehearsed it by voice with other singers.

It is that story that informs the Broadway play and later major motion picture “Amadeus,” which focuses on the rivalry between Mozart and contemporary composer Antonio Salieri.

“It’s a mysterious piece, but it’s really one of the most sublime compositions in musical history,” Crust said. “It will feature our wonderful Lima Symphony Chorus and four vocal soloists that we’ve chosen from around the region who are world-class singers. We’ll also feature a small piece from the 16th century called ‘Mille Regretz’ by Josquin des Prez. But many people who have seen ‘Amadeus’ will be familiar with Salieri. It will be interesting to compare the composers.”

Crust said that he hopes the audience comes away from the show with a greater appreciation for the composers.

“This is a great program in terms of illustrating the power of music over our emotions and the power of music to express emotions that words cannot,” he said. “This piece is just an emotional roller coaster and it’s going to help you enter a world of reflection and not only mourning but also celebration and optimism.”

With the amount of work being put into the program, his thoughts should come true.

“The chorus has been rehearsing this for weeks,” Crust said, “and since it is sung in Latin, they have been preparing not only in interpretation but in pronunciation. We only have the chance to work with our volunteer chorus about twice a year, but they’re such a great addition to our family and we’re very proud of them. I’m very much looking forward to the first rehearsal when you can bring everything together because this piece is really nothing without the chorus and the four vocal soloists as well.”

Tickets for the concert are on sale now on the symphony’s website.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.