Marin Alsop & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Present Gustav Holt's THE PLANETS, 11/7 & 10
Music Director Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in Gustav Holst's influential work The Planets on Thursday, November 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 10 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. A women's chorus from the Baltimore Choral Arts Society will join the Orchestra from offstage to perform the tone poem's final moment, Neptune, the Mystic. Also on the program is Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, performed by Leila Josefowicz, and Leopold Stokowski's 20th century arrangement of Bach's Toccata & Fugue. Maestra Alsop kicks off the first Off the Cuff series this season with a closer look into Holst's work, exploring its present-day relevance on Friday, November 8 at 8:15 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and on Saturday, November 9 at 7 p.m. at the Meyerhoff. All four concerts will feature high-definition images from space projected onto a screen suspended above the orchestra.
The Planets is a suite of seven poems that Gustav Holst began composing in 1914 and completed in 1916. The seven movements each convey a particular mood assigned with each astrological sign. The opening movement, for example, features Mars, the bringer of war, suggesting destruction and coldness. The remaining planets follow, excluding Earth and the then undiscovered Pluto. The Planets was Holst's first work composed for a major symphony orchestra.
Called "skillful and fearless" by The Classical Review, 35 year-old violinist Leila Josefowicz will perform Stravinsky's neo-classical masterwork, his Violin Concerto. The concerto, commissioned by American composer Blair Fairchild in 1931, premiered on October 23, 1931 in Berlin with Polish violinist Samuel Dushkin and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stravinsky himself. The piece has such a powerful kinetic energy that the father of American ballet, George Balanchine, choreographed two ballets to it: Balustrade (1941) and Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972).
First published in 1833 through the efforts of Felix Mendelssohn, Bach's Toccata & Fugue is known today as one of the most famous works in the organ repertoire. The Orchestra will perform Leopold Stokowski's arrangement of this Baroque masterwork, popularized in the 20th century when it was included in Walt Disney's filmFantasia, released in 1940.
More On: Marin Alsop, Joseph Meyer, George Balanchine, Felix Mendelssohn, Walt Disney.