In the midst of a routinely gorgeous evening of music, something funny happened at the Utah Symphony, they were upstaged by a soloist - and even Mozart's show closing Symphony No. 40 seemed a bit anti-climatic following the program's third segment.
That's because guest clarinetist Ted Calcara completely enlivened and invigorated the near-capacity audience inside Abravnel Hall for the first of two performances of a music program leaning heavily on the compositions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
With his rhythmic, swirling style of clarinet taking over the all-too brief Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, the leader of Salt Lake's New Deal Swing Big Band richly deserved the bouquet of flowers brought out to him at the segment's conclusion. After the standing ovation, the orchestra then turned its attention to the wonderful Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, which trust me - you may not recognize by name, but as sure as you've seen car commercials and movies, you've heard portions of this transcendent piece of music.
Although there was nothing wrong with the Utah Symphony's rendering of the program's, the energy seemed to have drained slightly from the building after Calcara's departure.
The entire program will be repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets remain on sale. If you love Mozart or dynamic performers, you'll want to be there.