Fantasy: A World with No Boundaries

A musical celebration of myths, legends, and fantasies. The program opens with the overture to Prometheus by Ludwig van Beethoven (his sole full-length ballet score), based on the Greek myth, and closes with the most beloved waltz of Johann Strauss, Jr., The Blue Danube, a magical conjuration of Austria’s past, the peace and love that the river inspires, and even its mermaid inhabitants. Australian composer Maria Grenfell’s orchestral fantasy Hinemoa, based on a Maori fairytale about young lovers united by music, is heard in its first U.S. performance. Alexander Borodin’s popular “musical tableau” In the Steppes of Central Asia, an evocative vision of a desert caravan, precedes a Halloween-timed performance of the dance music (described by one commentator as “an orgiastic ballet”) from Charles Gounod’s opera Faust — a work appropriately charming and sensuous, as it accompanies the seductive enchantresses summoned forth for Faust’s pleasure by the wily Méphistophélès.

BEETHOVEN | Prometheus, Op. 43: Overture

BORODIN | In the Steppes of Central Asia

GOUNOD | Faust: Ballet Music

GRENFELL | Hinemoa (U. S. premiere)

J. STRAUSS, Jr. | The Blue Danube


Benaroya Hall



"My best work": Tchaikovsky's Second

Welsh composer Grace Williams (1906-1977) composed her exquisite and powerful Fairest of Stars, a setting of texts from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, in 1973; this final work by Williams to feature solo voice is presented in its U. S. premiere by soprano Stacey Mastrian, whose operatic and recital performances have garnered critical acclaim for “effortless mastery” and “showstopping heights”. Ms. Mastrian and the orchestra will also present Sibelius’ little-known symphonic poem with voice, Luonnotar. The Philharmonic concludes its 2023-24 season in grand fashion with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, the Ukrainian, a work in which the composer unreservedly expresses his love for the Ukrainian people and their folk music. The program opens, appropriately enough, with music by Tchaikovsky’s favorite composer, the overture to Don Giovanni by Mozart.

2 pm

Benaroya Hall

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