Pablo Heras-Casado to Open OSL's Carnegie Hall Series, 10/13
Last season, Pablo Heras-Casado made his Carnegie Hall debut as principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL), earning praise from The New York Times as "the thinking person's idea of a hotshot young conductor" with a largely Romantic program. This season, Heras-Casado shows that he is as versatile as he is thoughtful on the podium, when he opens OSL's Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series on October 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM with a program of Mendelssohn, Britten, and Shostakovich.
To celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth, Heras-Casado leads OSL in the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, one of the greatest song cycles of the 20th century. In this work, Britten masterfully manipulates the unusual colors of string orchestra and solo horn that accompany his settings of six beautiful poems from various authors and eras, all on the many moods of night and dreams. British tenor Ian Bostridge-who has worldwide appearances in connection with the Britten centenary this season-joins OSL for this captivating work, employing his discerning vocal color in the piece's alternately tranquil and sinister portrayals of night. OSL's own Stewart Rose will bring his powerful, elegant tone to the solo horn lines, including two movements played on the natural horn.
The concert opens with Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, evoking the fantastical world of Shakespeare's play and providing a counterpoint to Britten's take on the mysteries of night and dreams. This delicate, buoyant overture is considered one of Mendelssohn's most extraordinary achievements, as he succeeds in capturing the essence of the play; its setting in the enchanted forest; and all of its characters, from the mortal lovers, to fairies, to the transformed Bottom. The Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream is perhaps the best example of a translation of Shakespeare's work into another art form, and is credited with having started the trend of literature-based music among Romantic composers.
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, like so many of his works, was written-and is viewed through-the framework of Soviet politics. When World War II ended, Shostakovich was widely expected to write a grand symphony glorifying the Soviet victory and Joseph Stalin. Instead, he composed the bright, quirky Symphony No. 9. It is the closest Shostakovich came to writing a classical symphony (though it has five movements rather than four); in the composer's own words, the work is filled with "light and air, joie de vivre, brilliance."
Tuesday, October 22 at 6:00 PM, the day prior to the concert, the public is invited to learn more about Shostakovich and his music at a Preview & Chat taking place at OSL's home, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. At this event-part of theOSL@DMC series-Heras-Casado will lead OSL in excerpts from Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9. Between selections, the maestro and musicians will answer audience questions about the historically rich work and their approach to its performance. The Preview & Chat is free of charge; reservations are required.
More On: Carnegie Hall, St. Luke, Benjamin Britten, Stewart Rose.