15 Jan 2007

Fans of the Esoteric Emerge


BY FRED KIRSHNIT [NY Sun, 15 January 2007]

When Mozart fashioned his own version of Handel's Messiah and prepared to mount it in Vienna, Austria, he was confronted by a dearth of talented trumpet players, and so scored the solo passagework for "The Trumpet Shall Sound" for French horn instead. Robert Mealy, first violin and guest director of the New York Collegium, used this story Friday evening at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer to illustrate the decline of musical life in Vienna in the period just before Haydn and Mozart and to underscore the prior brilliance of the years of the mid-17th century under music loving emperor Leopold I. In a fascinating program, the Collegium players presented music in a variety of styles from those glorious early days.