"Serene cheer and warm sunshine”: Brahms’ Second
To conclude this significant season in the Philharmonic’s history, the orchestra will perform Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, the sunniest of its composer’s four symphonies and a perennial audience favorite. Adding to the luster of the program is the local debut of eminent violinist Joanna Kurkowicz, the leading exponent of the violin music of Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969), whose Violin Concerto No. 4 will round out the season’s lineup of U. S. premieres. The program opens with the Northwest premiere of Margaret Bonds’ Montgomery Variations, written in tribute to the march for equal voting rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965.
BONDS | Montgomery Variations
BACEWICZ | Violin Concerto No. 4 (U. S. premiere)
Soloist | Joanna Kurkowicz
BRAHMS | Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73
“Tchaikovsky’s first true masterpiece”: Romeo and Juliet
Dismissed by its composer as “a very noisy piece”, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is likely his most oft-performed composition, a depiction in sound of Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Just as popular is the composer’s first musical rendering of a Shakespeare play, the fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet, with its musical portrayals of the young lovers’ passion against the background of their families’ seething mutual hatred. One of our major local artists, pianist Anastasia Solomatina, will be featured in Prokofiev’s alternately bold and lyrical Piano Concerto No. 1. The haunting Passacaglia of Ljubica Marić, considered the most important of 20th century Serbian composers, will round out this all-Slavic program.
A Major U.S. Premiere: Ruth Gipps' Fifth
Following in the footsteps of giving the U. S. premieres of Ruth Gipps’ Second and Fourth symphonies, the Philharmonic will present, not only the like premiere of the Symphony No. 5, but its second-ever performance. The final symphony by this important English composer is her most grandly-orchestrated, and a true summation of her vast creative skill. The radiant soprano Allison Pohl will take the stage for a bouquet of romantic songs by Richard Strauss. The program opens in a light vein, with three symphonic arrangements by Lucien Cailliet, the legendary clarinettist, composer, and arranger who played a vital role in the musical life of Philadelphia.