The Rite of Spring

Stéphane Denève - Conductor

Peter Richard Conte - Organ

Didi Balle - Playwright and Director


Milhaud - The Creation of the World

Poulenc - Organ Concerto


Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

Friday, October 19, 2018

2:00 pm Verizon Hall

Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève leads two weeks of concerts inspired by both Leopold Stokowski, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Dr. Albert C. Barnes, founder of the Barnes Foundation.  They were cultural pioneers, bringing the latest in art and music to Philadelphia in the early 1900s and presenting it in bold, new ways.

In this second program, we witness The Creation of the World, courtesy of Frenchman Darius Milhaud, who was energized by the jazz he heard on a visit to Harlem. Francis Poulenc's Organ Concerto is a dazzling showpiece for the marvelous Fred. J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Rite of Spring—first brought to America by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphians— remains a primal, shattering musical masterpiece. Albert Barnes once wrote about the strong link he saw between the works of Henri Matisse and Stravinsky's compositions. This program reveals the intellectual and artistic zeal Barnes and Stokowski shared, which resonates to this day.

During the concert, actors will perform as Barnes and Stokowski in brief theatrical scenes that will take place between pieces. “The Artful Titans,” written and directed by Didi Balle and based on intensive historical research, will bring to life the multi-faceted relationship between Barnes and Stokowski in which they debated art and music. The stage will be framed by scenic elements and projections of art from the Barnes collection.

Arrive early and enjoy lobby displays featuring letters, photos, and programs, curated by local historian Jack McCarthy, on view in the Kimmel Center lobby during the concert dates.

Additional details about festival events surrounding both concert weekends can be found here

program notes
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