Music Director and Chief Conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in two concerts. The first is an all-Dvořák program with cellist Alisa Weilerstein. The next afternoon, the orchestra concludes its visit with Mahler’s epic “Resurrection” Symphony.
Hearing a great orchestra perform Dvořák is memorable, but to experience a legendary Czech orchestra play his music is unforgettable. Two Dvořák masterpieces—the warmly expressive Symphony No. 7 and impassioned Cello Concerto—are each imbued with his hallmark lyricism and warm color. Not a single note in is misjudged in a symphony where form and melody come together brilliantly, while the Cello Concerto’s virtuoso passages for the soloist thrill and its elegiac tone touches the heart.
Czech Philharmonic Semyon Bychkov, Music Director and Chief Conductor Alisa Weilerstein, Cello
Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 2 is a magnificent meditation on life, death, and the beyond. Scored for vocal soloists, chorus, organ, and colossal orchestra, its viscerally powerful music shapes a dramatic arc that begins with a funeral rite, looks back on life’s joys, aspires to the almighty in the gorgeous alto solo “Urlicht” ("Primal Light"), and is shattered by a depiction of the last judgment—including a harrowing march of the dead—before soaring heavenward in one of the most resplendent choral finales ever composed.
Czech Philharmonic Semyon Bychkov, Music Director and Chief Conductor Christiane Karg, Soprano Elisabeth Kulman, Mezzo-Soprano Prague Philharmonic Choir Lukáš Vasilek, Principal Conductor