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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Friday, December 8, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Url Copied
Yannick Nezet-Seguin by Will Figg, Hilary Hahn by Michael Patrick O'Leary
It’s a night of love, scandal, and drama. Bernstein’s Serenade, after Plato’s Symposium, explores the nature of love; its essence is captured in lyrical music laced with virtuosic solo violin passages that simultaneously eschew and hint at the West Side Story style. Sexual scandal drives the plot of Thomas Adès’s opera Powder Her Face with music—sultry tangos and uneasy waltzes—that evoke the glittery world of its protagonist, the Duchess of Argyll. Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 lives in a gentler world of rich melody, technicolor orchestration, and drama.

Performers

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Hilary Hahn, Violin

Program

THOMAS ADÈS Powder Her Face Suite (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
BERNSTEIN Serenade (after Plato's Symposium)
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

At age 24, the brilliant British composer Thomas Adès composed his first opera, Powder Her Face, about the scandalously hedonistic life of a debauched duchess. A decade later, Adès extracted instrumental moments from the original chamber opera to create a three-movement Suite for full orchestra, and now, after a further 10 years, he has re-orchestrated and expanded the material to create the eight-movement Suite we hear tonight in its New York premiere.

This season marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, which is being celebrated internationally. The occasion offers the welcome chance to reconsider this brilliant and multi-talented musician, who was perhaps even better known during his lifetime as a conductor, writer, advocate, and educator than as a serious composer. Bernstein based his Serenade—a violin concerto of sorts accompanied by a string orchestra, harp, and percussion—on Plato’s Symposium, the ultimate dialogue in praise of love.

Bernstein ultimately triumphed as a national monument of American music, as Adès is emerging for contemporary British music. Jean Sibelius filled this role for Finland at the beginning of the 20th century at a time when his country was dominated by Russia to the south. His music, most famously the tone poem Finlandia, evokes the landscape and history of his country. Tonight we hear the first of his seven symphonies.

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