Friday Matinee A
This subscription package includes performances that feature chorus and therefore Conductor’s Circle seating is not available for one or more event. For your convenience we will seat you in Orchestra Tier or Tier 1 at no additional price for these performances.
Join us on a whirlwind tour of the music of South America and, courtesy of New Yorker George Gershwin, the Caribbean! His 1932 Cuban Overture is awash in rhumba rhythms. Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen shines in Ginastera's Harp Concerto, given its world premiere by The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965. Fellow Argentinian Astor Piazzolla's Tangazo mines the tango's rich emotional depths as only he could.
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.
Louis Langrée returns to lead this feast of French favorites, some of them especially attuned to the spooky season! Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, immortalized in Fantasia, returns on subscription. The Saint-Saëns is delightfully macabre. And Franck's Accursed Huntsman tells the cautionary tale of a hunter who broke the Sabbath, to his eternal regret.
Yannick teams up with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the biggest vocal talents in the world, a rare combination of exceptional skills and winning personality. She'll shine in Chausson's musical poem about love, death, and the sea. The Philadelphians take center stage in Wagner's Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin and Respighi's Fountains of Rome. And we are eager to welcome back American composer Mason Bates after the resounding success of his fascinating and futuristic Alternative Energy in 2017.
We continue our celebration of Leonard Bernstein's birth centenary with his dramatic, spiritual Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”), programmed with Rossini's Stabat Mater. Yannick describes the pairing of these two works as “A program which is very much in the vein of what I think personally about spirituality: the work of a Catholic composer, Rossini's Stabat Mater, and a Jewish composer, Leonard Bernstein, his Third Symphony, ‘Kaddish.'
We welcome back Esa-Pekka Salonen for a program of music that's sure to win hearts, minds, and ears. There's more to Richard Strauss's Zarathustra than the few notes heard in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey: It's a unique experience in the concert hall with orchestra and the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Viola Concerto was one of Bartók's last compositions.
An acclaimed contralto turned conductor, Nathalie Stutzmann wowed the audience at her 2016 debut conducting Messiah. She returns to make her subscription debut with a program featuring Benjamin Grosvenor in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. A Gramophone “Young Artist Award” winner, Grosvenor has established himself as one of today's finest pianists. Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, and the ever-surprising Symphony No. 94 by Haydn (Beethoven's teacher), are sublime musical companions.
Mozart's haunting Requiem is accompanied by glimpses of the composer at different stages of his all-too-brief life. He was only 17 when he wrote his Symphony No. 25. (You may know it from the opening of the film Amadeus.) The Masonic Funeral Music is a product of his late 20s, composed in memory of two of his fellow Masons, both Viennese aristocrats. And of course, the Requiem came at the very end of Mozart's life: He died before he could finish it. The version heard on these concerts was completed by the brilliant Mozart scholar Robert Levin.
Yannick continues his deeply felt exploration of Gustav Mahler's symphonies with the Ninth, the last of the great symphonies he was able to complete before his death in 1911. Critics, musicians, and music lovers have struggled to convey the enormous scope of this piece; the great conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Herbert von Karajan described the Ninth as “music coming from another world … from eternity.” Musically ingenious and emotionally intense—Is it about the wonder of life?