At a Glance
This afternoon's concert opens with two modern and contemporary masterpieces that are now part of the orchestral repertoire. Ligeti's Atmosphères is a technical experiment, but it has an aura of spellbinding mystery that has continued to seduce audiences long since its celebrated appearance in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Berg's Violin Concerto, with its haunting lyricism, is an atonal work for those who normally dislike atonal music. He wrote it for Manon Gropius in 1935, the daughter of architect Walter Gropius and his wife Alma, the former wife of Mahler, who died tragically at age 18 and whom Berg loved as his own child. The concert concludes with Brahms's Second Symphony-the most mellow and spontaneous of his four, yet written with the composer's characteristic formal rigor.