Presenting: the brass family! Philadelphia Orchestra musician Matt Vaughn will guide the audience through this regal instrument family.
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, Tier 1, or the Orchestra at no additional price for these performances.
Mahler summons a large orchestra to explore the full range of human emotions in his Fifth Symphony, a work that Yannick returns to with the Philadelphians for the first time in 9 years. Schubert himself struggled to play the Wanderer Fantasy. More than just a technical challenge, the piece is an ingenious set of variations on the composer's song “Der Wanderer,” transformed by Liszt into a rarely heard piano concerto. The four movements are played without a break, building intensity until the mesmerizing finale.
Beethoven's only violin concerto is “an amazing trip,” says Gil Shaham, from the opening drumbeats, through some of “the most sublime, most beautiful violin passages ever,” to the “perfect fiddling” of the final dance. Susanna Mälkki, renowned interpreter of new music, leads Betsy Jolas's A Little Summer Suite, written in 2015 on the eve of the composer's 90th birthday.
Beethoven composed “the most positive music ever written,” with every work containing “every emotion known to man,” says Emanuel Ax, who completes our piano concerto cycle. Beethoven made his public debut with his Second Concerto, a dramatic, humorous, ebullient work that announced the young artist's arrival.
Beethoven was just beginning to go deaf when he wrote his Second Symphony and though he was losing his hearing, he was finding his voice. He could have composed a manifestation of despair, but instead gave the world one of his most ebullient and life-affirming works. The Third Symphony was groundbreaking, a turning point in the composer's oeuvre and a watershed in musical history.
Stéphane Denève's final subscription concerts as the Orchestra's principal guest conductor culminate with Strauss's epic Ein Heldenleben—literally, A Hero's Life—an extravagant, all-encompassing, semi-autobiographical tone poem that quotes from his own prodigious masterpieces. Anna Clyne's imaginative This Midnight Hour, highlighting the power of the lower strings, evokes the journey of a mysterious woman “stripped bare, running mad through the night.” Liszt's heady Second Piano Concerto is gorgeous and technically challenging.
Yannick reprises a highlight of our season's Beethoven celebration for a special, one-night-only performance of two masterpieces. The indelible four-note opening of the 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.
Assistant Principal Bass Joseph Conyers at Cherry Street Pier. Photo by Kriston Jae Bethel.