At a Glance
This afternoon’s program features three seminal works by well-known
masters, linked together across the roughly 150-year span of their dates of
composition by Romantic ideals. In his Serenade for Strings, Tchaikovsky—a
Romantic icon—combines an inward-looking search for emotion and meaning with
inspiration from Mozart and his native folk music. Beethoven, the prophet of the
Romantic era, finds inspiration in nature and humanity’s relationship to it in
his beloved Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” and finally, Samuel Barber represents
the twilight of Romanticism, his lyrical, melancholic Violin Concerto showcasing
the composer’s unique voice and distinctly American, yet cosmopolitan, perspective.
Both Tchaikovsky and Barber show off their gifts of melody and breathtaking
orchestral color, while Beethoven’s earnest warmth exalts nature and predicts
the future of music. Each work is a masterpiece that has now become part of the
standard repertoire, beloved by audiences and revered by performers.