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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

The MET Orchestra

Friday, May 18, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla by Benjamin Ealovega
With a seductive whisper of winds, horns, harp, and strings, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune ushered in a new world of music where the relationship of harmony, melody, rhythm, and orchestral color were beautifully blurred. There’s nothing hazy, however, about the visceral struggle with fate that’s the essence of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, nor in the work’s thrilling, life-affirming finale. There’s more Russian music when mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili sings Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death.

Part of: Russian Symphonies and The MET Orchestra

The MET Orchestra is also performing May 30 and June 5.


The MET Orchestra
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Conductor
Anita Rachvelishvili, Mezzo-Soprano


DEBUSSY Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death (orch. Shostakovich)
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

CLAUDE DEBUSSY  Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Emerging into a musical world dominated by lush late-Romanticism, Debussy’s hazy, allusive music was something entirely new. The Prélude is the composer’s musical reaction and tribute to the sensual, even erotic poem L’après-midi d’un faune by symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé, and it has come to be recognized as one of the most important and groundbreaking works in the entire repertoire.


MODEST MUSSORGSKY  Songs and Dances of Death

A harrowing set of vividly expressionistic scenes, Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death are operatic in their drama and musical scale. Weaving Russian and other Slavic folk-music styles and quasi-ritualistic modal harmonic structures into a dark and spectral musical tapestry, Mussorgsky’s style here recalls his opera Boris Godunov and, at times, could perhaps also reveal the influence of Liszt’s Totentanz and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, two groundbreaking works that deal with similar subject matter and with which Mussorgsky was familiar.


PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36

Tchaikovsky began work on his Fourth Symphony in 1877 shortly before his marriage to a much younger former student from the Moscow Conservatory. This disastrous and ill-advised union lasted all of nine weeks and resulted in Tchaikovsky suffering an emotional crisis. A musical journey from darkness to light, Tchaikovsky asserted publicly that the Symphony No. 4 had no overt program; however, in response to a letter from his patron asking him to explain the symphony’s meaning, he wrote that Fate is a constant presence in our lives.

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