MET Orchestra’s “lush, shimmering sound” (The
New York Times) makes this series an essential for lovers of great
orchestral music. The seductive harmonies and colors of Debussy, the lushness
of Tchaikovsky, and the epic sweep of Mahler are highlights of this popular
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.
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)
Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 is an elegant work with an abundance of beautiful melodies that also shows a fascination with all things Turkish, including a section where cellos and basses slap the wooden side of their bows on the strings to create an exotic percussive sound. Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 has its own share of melodic splendor, particularly in the fourth-movement Adagietto—the gorgeous love letter he wrote to his wife, featuring strings and harp. The symphony is also dramatic with a powerful opening Funeral March and roof-raising jubilant finale.
The MET Orchestra Gianandrea Noseda, Conductor James Ehnes, Violin
A dazzling Mozart motet and Mahler’s radiant Symphony No. 4 are featured. Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate is wonderfully exuberant and culminates in spectacular coloratura fireworks that are ideally suited to the “silky, flexible sound” (The New York Times) of soprano Pretty Yende. She also sings the child’s praise of heavenly joys in the finale of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, a work that glows with a sense of wonder and magic.
The MET Orchestra Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor Pretty Yende, Soprano