Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Mozart's concert scena, "Ch'io miscordi di te," is actually a dialogue between the soprano and obbligato piano, with the orchestra supplying accompaniment and occasional commentary. It was written for a singer who was a close friend of the composer and contains much of Mozart's own personality in the piano part that he wrote for himself to play. Sunday at Wolf Trap, this music provided the high pont of an evening that had no real low points, with Julius Rudel conducting the Filene Center Orchestra, Frederica von Stade singing a warm, perfectly nuanced interpretation and Fred Scott phrasing the piano part with that special Mozartian eloquence that borders on understatement.
Mozart (represented also by his "little" G-minor Symphony and his baritone aria, "Rivolgate a lui lo squardo") shared the program with Mahler, whose song cycle, "Des Knaben Wunderhorn," occupied the second half and provided an effective balance and contrast with its sheer variety and its emphasis on folk motifa.
Rudel, one of the most accomplished operatic conductors on this continent, was equally at home in the symphony - which offers its won opportunities for dramatic statement - but the vocal music, Mozart's and Mahler's was the part of the evening that will be longest remembered.
Baritone Richard Stilwell was just a shade less expressive than von Stade but rich in tone and dramatically effective, particularly in the later songs of the Mahler cycle.