The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra to Perform Beethoven's SECOND SYMPHONY, 1/18

December 27, 2013 - East Providence, RI ? With Music Director LARRY RACHLEFF at the podium, the RHODE ISLAND PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA will greet the new year with stunning nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, featuring BEETHOVEN'S triumphant SECOND SYMPHONY. Capping the Philharmonic's stellar cycle of Beethoven symphonies, the concert takes place Saturday January 18 at 8:00pm at The Vets in Providence. PianistJEAN-PHILIPPE COLLARD will make his Philharmonic debut with RAVEL'S PIANO CONCERTO FOR THE LEFT HANDand the orchestra will perform HINDEMITH'S MATHIS DER MALER. The concert is sponsored by The Carter Family Charitable Trust. WPRO News Talk 630 is the media sponsor. Tickets (starting at $15) are available, by phone at 401.248.7000, and in-person at the RIPO box office, 667 Waterman Ave., E. Providence.

An Open Rehearsal will take place Friday January 17 at 5:30pm at The Vets.

"We close our Beethoven symphony cycle with his Second," said Larry Rachleff, music director. "It might not be one with which you're familiar, but it's vintage Beethoven and shows why he is the ultimate symphonist. It's a triumphant, dramatic work, in some ways preparing the ear for the colossal Ninth symphony, with some of the same motives." Rachleff continued: "Also on the program is Hindemith's Mathis der Maler Symphony, extracted from his opera inspired by the paintings of Matthias Grunewald. It's an important statement from Hindemith, an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime. He became a professor at Yale after emigrating to the United States during the Second World War. This piece is classic Hindemith, with glorious hymn-like brass, aggressive percussion,scherzi fugato in the strings... a combination of American jazz and the deep soul of his native Germany in the 1920s and '30s." Rachleff concluded: "Between these two pieces is the Left Hand Piano Concerto of Maurice Ravel, and we've invited Jean-Philippe Collard for his first visit with us. His recording of this piece has won many awards. Britten, Prokofiev, Ravel and others composed pieces for Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein after he lost his arm in the First World War. Ravel's concerto brings out such dark qualities, with a huge orchestra and big band jazz sounds. I've been blessed to bring you the piece twice before, with the late great John Browning and Leon Fleischer, and now with the Frenchman Jean-Philippe Collard. What a great program this is!"

Pianist Jean-Philippe Collard was admitted to the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris at a very young age, and at 16 he was awarded the Conservatory's First Prize. Mr. Collard has appeared as soloist with the world's greatest orchestras, including the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York, BBC, Royal, Los Angeles and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras and the San Francisco, London, Vienna, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He has performed at the London Proms and the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Salzburg, Caramoor, Newport and Saratoga Festivals, in addition to recitals throughout Europe, North and South America, Russia and the Far East. He is a prolific recording artist with more than 30 titles to his credit.

The Philharmonic's season features eight Classical concerts on Saturday nights at The Vets. Four are preceded by Amica Rush Hour concerts on Friday, and four have Friday Open Rehearsals. The Amica Rush Hour Series offers an early start time - 6:30pm - on remaining Fridays March 21 and April 11. These shorter, informal, accessible concerts feature full performances of select repertoire from the Saturday Classical concerts. Open Rehearsals, on Fridays at 5:30pm (January 17, February 21, May 9), offer insight into the collaboration between the conductor, guest artists and orchestra musicians as they prepare for the upcoming classical concert. Subscriptions are on sale now. Please call the Philharmonic box office at 401.248.7000, or visit

Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

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AT A GLANCE: Beethoven's Second

Larry Rachleff, conductor

Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

HINDEMITH Mathis der Maler

RAVEL Concerto, Piano (Left Hand), D major

BEETHOVEN Symphony No.2, op.36, D major

Saturday January 18 at 8:00pm Open Rehearsal: Friday January 17 at 5:30pm

TICKETS: starting at $15, with discounts for students and groups in select sections

online:, 24/7

by phone: Philharmonic box office: 401.248.7000; Monday-Friday 9?4:30

in person: Philharmonic box office, Carter Center, 667 Waterman Street, East Providence,Monday-Friday 9?4:30 OR

Vets box office, Avenue of the Arts, Providence, concert Friday 2?5:30pm; concert Saturday 3:30?8pm

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: stories behind the music

Hindemith, Mathis der Maler

No avoiding the Nazis: In April 1933, just three months after the Nazis came to power, Hindemith wrote to a friend: "To judge by what is happening here, I don't think we need worry too much about the musical future. One must just be patient for the next few weeks. So far in all the changes, nothing has happened to me." Soon the Nazis "invited" him into the music division of their chamber of culture. When he did not respond, they called for a boycott of his music, and "furloughed" him from teaching.

The politics of opera: Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler (Mathias the Painter) used the painter's resistance of the Reformation to make a statement against oppression and senseless brutality. The opera premiered in 1934 (despite the boycott) and was an immediate success in other countries, becoming a symbol of the deepening world crisis. Goebbels later denounced the composer, but it did not deter Hindemith, who soon left Germany for Switzerland and then the United States.

Ravel, Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand

What is the sound of one hand playing? "In a work of this kind, it is essential to give the impression of a texture no thinner than that of a part written for both hands," Ravel noted. One critic could hardly believe the concerto was not played by two hands, and at times he could even imagine four.

A unique concerto for a unique soloist: Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm during World War I. Since the repertoire for left hand alone was so limited, he commissioned new works from several contemporary composers. Besides Ravel, the pianist called upon Strauss, Prokofiev, Hindemith, and Britten, among others. Ravel completed the Left Hand Concerto in 1930.

Composer vs. commissioner: Wittgenstein premiered the Concerto for the Left Hand in Vienna in November 1931. Pianist Marguerite Long reports that the evening the composer was to hear his music for the first time, Wittgenstein confided to her that he had made certain "arrangements" of the piano part. "Inwardly, I excused him, thinking his physical disability was responsible for such liberties and advised him to speak of it in advance to Ravel. He did not do so." Ravel afterward reproached Wittgenstein "But it is not that way at all." The pianist responded, "I am an old hand as a pianist, and what you wrote does not sound right." Ravel retorted, "I am an old hand at orchestration, and it does sound right!"

Beethoven, Symphony No.2 in D Major, op.36

Defying his deafness: Beethoven wrote his Second Symphony while facing the fact of his worsening deafness. This symphony has been called a "heroic lie," because Beethoven was hiding his feelings from his art, unlike his approach in certain later works. Nothing of the composer's struggle is heard. Instead, as Berlioz characterized it, everything is noble, energetic, proud.

At about the same time, Beethoven wrote: "... Someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing ... Such incidents drove me almost to despair, a little more of that and I would have ended my life-it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me ..."


5. Mozart & Mahler

Larry Rachleff, conductor

MOZART The Magic Flute: Overture

MAHLER Symphony No.5, C-sharp minor

Saturday February 22 at 8:00pm Open Rehearsal: Friday February 21 at 5:30pm

6. Tchaikovsky's passionate Pathétique

Larry Rachleff, conductor

Philippe Quint, violin

UDOW The Shattered Mirror: Suite

STRAVINSKY Concerto, Violin, D major

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.6, op.74, TH 30, B minor (Pathétique)

Saturday March 22 at 8:00pm AMICA RUSH HOUR performance: Friday March 21at 6:30pm

7. Levin plays Mozart

Larry Rachleff, conductor

Robert Levin, piano

IVES The Unanswered Question, S.50

MOZART Concerto, Piano, No.20, K.466, D minor

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No.5, op.47, D minor

Saturday April 12 at 8:00pm AMICA RUSH HOUR performance: Friday April 11 at 6:30pm

8. Season Finale: Beethoven with Alon Goldstein

Larry Rachleff, conductor

Alon Goldstein, piano

The Providence Singers, Christine Noel, artistic director

STRAUSS Don Juan, TrV 156, op.20

BEETHOVEN Concerto, Piano, No.1, op.15, C major

RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé: Suites No.1 & 2

Saturday May 10 at 8:00pm Open Rehearsal: Friday May 9 at 5:30pm

All programs and artists are subject to change without notice.


The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is the largest fully integrated orchestra and music school in the United States. Our mission is to enrich and transform Rhode Island and our region through great music performance and education.

2013-2014 is the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's 69th Season, Music Director Larry Rachleff's 18th with the Orchestra. The season includes and eight-concert Classical Series with a roster of world-renowned guest artists that includes pianists Alon Goldstein, Cecile Licad, Jean-Philippe Collard and Robert Levin, violinists Jennifer Frautschi and Philippe Quint, cellist Colin Carr, and guest conductor Michael Christie. Our Amica Rush Hour Series offers an early start time - 6:30pm - on four Fridays (October 18, November 15, March 21, April 11). These shorter, informal, accessible classical concerts feature full performances of select repertoire from the SaturdayClassical concerts. Our four Open Rehearsals, on Fridays at 5:30pm (September 20, January 17, February 21, May 9), offer audience members insight into the collaboration between the conductor, guest artists and orchestra musicians as they prepare for the upcoming classical concert. Special events include the perennial holiday favorite Handel's Messiah with The Providence Singers on Saturday, December 7 at 7:00pm. Resident Conductor Francisco Noya conducts Handel's Messiah, our Education Concerts and our Summer Pops Concerts.

Now in its 26th year, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School serves approximately 1,500 children, youth and adults every week with lessons, classes, ensembles and community partnership programs, and an additional 13,000 students annually through partnerships, residencies, education concerts and in-school performances. Ensembles include five youth orchestras, two wind ensembles, eleven jazz ensembles and many chamber music ensembles and the RI Philharmonic Community Orchestra for adults. Information is available at


Tickets may be purchased 24/7 on the Philharmonic website: Tickets may also be purchased at the Philharmonic box office at 667 Waterman Avenue, East Providence, by phone (401.248.7000) or in-person Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm. On Open Rehearsal and Amica Rush Hour Fridays, ticket sales are also available at The Vets box office, from 2:00pm and 2:30pm respectively until showtime. On Saturday concert days, tickets are available onsite at The Vets box office from 3:30pm until showtime, or by calling 401.248.7000.

Ticket prices start at $15 for adults, with discounts in selected areas of the hall for full-time students and groups. Rush Hour concert tickets range from $15 to $50. Additional facilities and handling fees apply. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $15, inclusive of fees. There is free parking for all Philharmonic concerts at designated lots along Smith Street. For Saturday evening concerts, the Philharmonic provides a free shuttle bus to and from the parking lots before and after the concerts. Also for Saturday evening Classical concerts, valet parking is available at the front door of The Vets, for a cash fee of $20.

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