So if the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra thinks it has found a failsafe crowd-pleaser to start the 1999 Classics in the Loop festival, Mozart 'til Midnight isn't it. There are a lot more disgruntled former bookstore owners now then there ever were, those who would find a Mozart marathon lasting from 7:30 p.m. until the tolling of a new day akin to being force-fed dessert after a full meal.
But then there's everybody else who will take pleasure in Mozart's variety, his lightness of touch, his depth of feeling, his ecstatic sounds, his breathless silences. Eight compositions are scheduled for the evening, in which David Loebel conducts the SLSO with guest artists Marina Piccinini and the Ying Quartet, the phenomenal sibling ensemble.
Nobody has to stay for the whole thing -- the ticket stub allows audience members to come and go -- but some lucky soul who sticks it out until midnight will win a bike.
"A bike," some disgruntled sort might mutter. "Somebody who sits through four-and-a-half hours of Mozart doesn't deserve that much. A Yugo, maybe."
To hell with him. Mozart 'til Midnight is held in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the Symphony's Community Music School, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 28. Call 534-1700 for tickets.
-- Eddie Silva