Yannick Nézet-Séguin Yannick Nézet-Séguin Yannick Nézet-Séguin

BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 5 & 6

Mar 12, 2020, 7:30 PM
Mar 14, 2020, 8:00 PM
Mar 15, 2020, 2:00 PM

Performance Details

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Beethoven Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral")

The indelible four-note opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony lays the foundation for a truly fateful symphonic journey. Written in 1804, and on the program when The Philadelphia Orchestra gave its first concert in 1900, it's an epic tour de force that resonates in 2020. Following its rousing conclusion come the verdant valleys and sweet smells of the woods and the Austrian countryside, an exposition of Beethoven's love of nature. Composed and premiered at the same time, the “Pastoral” offers a striking contrast to the assertive Fifth. Also inspired by nature, and based on a direct quote from Beethoven, composer Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht imagines Beethoven’s response to today’s climate crisis.

Habibi on Jeder Baum spricht

Jeder Baum spricht (Every Tree Speaks) is a direct quote from Beethoven. If he were alive today, what is a topic that Beethoven would really care about? We know from Beethoven’s letters that he took frequent walks in nature and that he loved the forest. My work is a commentary on the environmental catastrophe that we’re living today. It’s too late to reverse what we’ve done to the environment, but there are things we can do to slow down that process and save the planet. The piece ends with that hope for our future.