RUN TIME: 1 HR 30 MINUTES
IGOR STRAVINSKY | Septet
LUIGI CHERUBINI | Symphony in D major
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN | Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor
John O’Conor’s gift for Beethoven never disappoints. I can't think of anyone else in my acquaintance with an instant rapport with the orchestra that makes the experience so musically rewarding and intimate. Loved by our orchestra and audience alike, O’Conor is a statesman and musical icon.
The Emperor Concerto is gargantuan, so named for its grandeur and highly sophisticated form. This is Beethoven at his most intense, personal, and sublime. So much so that in this capacity we are treating it as the main course or the steak, putting it in the second half, more like a symphony, with Stravinsky and Cherubini as appetizers and a salad.
Stravinsky’s Septet and Cherubini’s Symphony No. 1 open the concert. Stravinsky, an early twentieth-century composer, is spicy and spiky; the dissonance and pared-down instrument combination adds curiosity and variety. Luigi Cherubini (1760 to 1842) is a composer who composed mainly operas in the grand French tradition. His Symphony No. 1 is an excellent example of the classical symphonic form, revealing much about this often overlooked composer.