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Kinderkonzert at the Kennedy Center

On Saturday afternoon, Master Ionarts and I attended the latest Kinderkonzert presented by players from the National Symphony Orchestra. A group calling itself the Unlikely Trio consisted of flutist Carole Bean, harpist Dotian Levalier, and oboist William Wieglus. The latter, for the most part, narrated an hour-long program combining a few brief pieces with some funny commentary, mini-presentations, musical snippets, and audience participation.

Kennedy Center Shuttle
Riding the Kennedy Center shuttle

As Wieglus explained what a musical prodigy is, Levalier played K. 1, the little minuet and trio that is the first piece composed and written down by the young Mozart, when he was five years old. Master Ionarts, who is also five, still has a few months before he is officially behind the Mozart curve. The prettiest selections of the concert came from the Concerto for Flute and Harp, which Master Ionarts praised, along with the selections from the variations on Que vous dirai-je, Maman?, a simple tune known in the United States as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. He also enjoyed the instrument demonstrations, especially the loud pedal crash on the harp, which made most of the younger audience members squeal with glee.

To the victors go the spoils!
In the second half of the concert, most of the Mozart selections were from The Magic Flute, one of the favorite operas of Master Ionarts, ever since we reviewed the production by the Salzburger Marionettentheater a year or so ago. Recently, Master Ionarts watched boy soprano Robin Schlotz, from the Tölzer Knabenchor, singing the Queen of the Night's second aria (YouTube video below), Der Hölle Rache, after which we have often heard him trying to sing the very high melismatic parts of the aria. So, he very much enjoyed the rendition of that aria, with the flute taking the soprano part. After an enjoyable concert, which ended with some music by John Philip Sousa, Master Ionarts and I took a much deserved break from it all and enjoyed cookies and milk (mine had espresso in it) on the way home.

Robin Schlotz, singing Mozart's Der Hölle Rache

The last Kinderkonzert of the season (May 20, 1 and 3:30 pm) is already sold out, but it would be worth calling the box office for a chance to get a last-minute ticket from a return or cancellation. These fun concerts are a good way to get kids interested in music.

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