Carnegie Hall Presents

Russian Symphonies

Intense emotions painted in vivid colors make each of these symphonies a stunning experience. The lush beauty of Rachmaninoff, the drama of Tchaikovsky, and the emotional intensity of Shostakovich are explored by the world’s finest orchestras and leading conductors.
March 13, 2018
The Philadelphia Orchestra
April 11, 2018
Boston Symphony Orchestra
May 18, 2018
The MET Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | 8 PM

Performers

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Janine Jansen, Violin

Program

MICHEL VAN DER AA Violin Concerto (NY Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2
Ethereal and dramatic, Michel Van der Aa’s concerto was specifically written for Janine Jansen, a violinist who meets the many challenges of this stunning music. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2—a Philadelphia Orchestra specialty—has its own dramatic effects in the final movement, where the composer uncannily captures the sound of cascading Russian church bells. Its heart and soul, however, is the breathtaking third-movement Adagio that spins out a stream of beautiful melodies.

Listen

MICHEL VAN DER AA Violin Concerto (III)


Janine Jansen, Violin | Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | 8 PM

Performers

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano

Program

BERNSTEIN Symphony No. 2, "The Age of Anxiety"
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 4
Bernstein has four characters search for faith in a New York City bar while Shostakovich’s symphony flirts with danger. W. H. Auden’s poem “The Age of Anxiety,” an eclogue on man’s spiritual quest, inspired the pulsing jazz piano and vivid orchestral colors of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2. Echoes of Mahler are evident in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, especially the emotional arc of its finale. The composer cancelled the symphony’s 1936 premiere knowing its unorthodox style ran against Soviet cultural policy—a mistake that could have cost him his freedom or more.

The MET Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Friday, May 18, 2018 | 8 PM

Performers

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

Program

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