Cheapskate's Guide to the Finer Things in Life

Woody Allen would love tonight's free concert at Rice

Woody Allen would love tonight's free concert at Rice

Woody Allen may not be playing it on his clarinet, but he once cited a piece of music that will be performed tonight at Rice University as one of the things that make life worth living.

Toward the end of the 1979 classic, ManhattanAllen, playing a comedy writer working on a story idea, asks himself why life is worth living. He comes up with a wonderful mixed bag of reasons, starting with Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, and the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony.

Tonight at 8 p.m., at a free concert in Stude Hall, the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra will play not just that one stately, life-sustaining movement, but Mozart’s entire Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, also known as the “Jupiter” symphony.

The final, celebratory fourth movement may well prompt another smile of recognition to spread across the faces of the many fans (like me) of Allen’s early films. This sprightly piece of music was played during a scene in his Academy Award-winning romantic comedy, Annie Hall, with Diane Keaton as the perennially sunny title character and Allen as her persistently neurotic boyfriend, Alvy Singer.

The program also features Betty Beath’s River Songs, featuring soprano Susan Lorette Dunn, and Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 12, with soloist Gwen Seaton.

News_Woody Allen_April 2010
Woody Allen loves the "Jupiter" symphony.
News_Shepherd School of Music_Stude Concert Hall_March 2010
Shepherd School of Music's Stude Hall. Courtesy of Kirkegaard Associates