About This Concert:
American, French and Russian fireworks open the season, including Stravinsky’s incandescent Suite from his ballet The Firebird, and a performance with the Canadian violin phenom James Ehnes.
Violin Concerto No. 2 [U.S. Premiere]
Roman Carnival Overture
Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision)
- John Adams has said of his Short Ride in a Fast Machine that you can imagine you’re in a convertible, top down, driving way too fast—and loving it.
- Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess is one of the most elegant of this 20th-century Frenchman’s creations, inspired not so much by an actual princess, but the composer’s wish to conjure a courtly dance that a princess, say, of the 16th century would’ve loved.
- Performers in Ravel’s day loved his Pavane so much that the tempo got slower and slower—prompting the composer to say, “this is a pavane for a dead princess, not a dead pavane for a princess.”
- James Ehnes has a global reputation for his approachability as well as his virtuosity, and The Times (London) last fall praised “the Canadian’s polite, unassuming manner [which] belies his brilliant artistry.”
- If you want to hear more from phenom James Ehnes, he’ll be back in January for our Tchaikovsky Marathon.
- Ehnes has one of the most active solo careers today, but also formed the Ehnes String Quartet to collaborate with friends in chamber music.
- Berlioz’ Roman Carnival Overture is the Act II curtain-raiser to his 1844 opera Benvenuto Cellini—which bombed on opening night and has hardly seen the light of day since—and these nine minutes of break-neck, beautiful music remain one of his most popular concert pieces.
- The end of Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird is bar-for-bar some of the most exciting music of the 20th century.