The Bernstein Centenary Celebration continues with his Second Symphony, The Age of Anxiety¸ with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the piano.
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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.
Acclaimed French conductor Emmanuelle Haïm makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, presenting two of the leading lights of English Baroque music. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks has been lighting up the sky (in concert halls!) since 1749. In his cantata Il delirio amoroso (The Delirium of Love), soprano Erin Morley brings the “silken clarity … and the needlepoint precision of her coloratura” (The New York Times) to this Orpheus-like tale based on classical mythology.
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?