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The Salzburg Festival Gets a Touch of Houston

The Bayou City should be proud of our former maestros performing in Europe.

Wimberger, a professor of composition and conducting at Salzburg's world-famous Mozarteum, doesn't make this work easy listening, but Graf does, turning the harsh orchestration into either mighty protestation or the wondrous glories of God. He clearly "gets this work," as the maestro, speaking about Wimberger, later said backstage to a throng of well-wishers.

The choral singing from the Salzburger Bachchor and the playing of the Mozarteum Orchestra were ethereal, as the neo-baroque, cream-and-gold concert hall, the Mozarteum Großer Saal, was transformed into both cathedral and profane school of philosophy. For 50 minutes (along with the lively opening account of Mozart's Prague Symphony with its playful, sudden shifts of volume and tone), all earlier scandal and displeasure during the Salzburg Festival were whisked away by Graf, a Houstonian by proxy. The Bayou City should be proud.

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