Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Beethoven Symphony No. 4
Simon Fate Now Conquers WORLD PREMIERE - PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA COMMISSION
Beethoven Symphony No. 7
Buoyant and humorous, the Eighth Symphony belies none of the composer's worsening health issues or what had to be the devastating end of a love affair, detailed in a famous letter written around the same time to his “Immortal Beloved.” Perhaps the least known, the Fourth was widely admired: Schumann compared it to “a slender Greek maiden” between the two “Norse giants” of the Third and Fifth; Berlioz insisted it was the work of an angel. And Tchaikovsky described the triumphant Seventh as “full of unrestrained joy, full of bliss and pleasure of life.” The exhilarating and familiar second movement is said to have been so inspiring at the premiere, an encore was demanded instantly. Placing Beethoven’s motifs in a contemporary musical landscape, composer Carlos Simon draws on the uncertainty that Beethoven felt and turns it into inspiration with Fate Now Conquers.
Simon on Fate Now Conquers
Using the beautifully fluid harmonic structure of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, I have composed musical gestures that are representative of the unpredictable ways of fate: jolting stabs along with frenzied arpeggios in the strings that morph into an ambiguous cloud of free-flowing running passages depicting the uncertainty of life that hovers over us.