Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra

Beyond the Baton

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on October 27, 2021

This Month Yannick Talks about Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers.

Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers is one of those pieces that immediately strikes the imagination. It’s the work of a contemporary, creative, fantastically gifted composer of the new generation in America, looking at the work of Beethoven with a very personal take on it. Carlos’s use of the rhythmical motif from the beginning of the second movement of the Seventh Symphony—but altering it by adding a lot of faster notes around it and making it almost a threatening, menacing, or ominous transformation—is quite striking and inspiring. It’s also a very short piece, which almost feels as if Beethoven is talking to us but is immersing himself in the preoccupations of our world, our time, and in the kind of anxiety many of us have felt over the past few years. The loneliness of the solo cello in the middle of the piece strikes me almost like the loneliness of the oboe in the first movement of the Fifth Symphony. Carlos’s imagination, rhythmic vitality, and flair make a truly emotional impact that resonates in this piece, which I’m always very glad and grateful to conduct in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

Simon’s Fate Now Conquers will be performed live in Verizon Hall November 6, 2021, and at Carnegie Hall November 9, 2021.

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