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Magic Strikes With Emmanuel Pahud Performing Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE FANTASY Next Week!

Artist-In-Association Emmanuel Pahud performs works exploring desire, joy, and victory.

Magic Strikes With Emmanuel Pahud Performing Mozart's MAGIC FLUTE FANTASY Next Week!

The year is 1791. The lights are dimmed and a gentle hush descends on the restless audience, all dressed in glittering finery. Mozart himself is at the podium, his baton lifted to guide the eager musicians. Clear notes play out, creating delightful tunes that ring through the Austrian theatre. In that moment, magic is created.

Next week, the Utah Symphony renews this magic feeling together with renowned flutist Emmanuel Pahud, the Utah Symphony's 2022-23 Artist-In-Association. Performing Nielsen's lively Flute Concerto and a variety of beloved melodies from Mozart's The Magic Flute, Pahud and the Utah Symphony will lead audiences through a range of emotions with musical storytelling. The two evening concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4, at Abravanel Hall in downtown Salt Lake City. In addition, the Utah Symphony will perform three expressive pieces-Haydn's Symphony No. 12, Berg's Lyric Suite, Nielsen's Flute Concerto, and Janáček's Sinfonietta.

Often known as the "Father of the Symphony," Joseph Haydn's legacy rings true in his Symphony No. 12. Composed in 1763, this symphony translates brightness and radiance into three distinct movements in the traditional "sandwiched" fast-slow-fast structure. Resonating with the emotions of joy and happiness, this brightly structured piece weaves its way through conflict for a resounding resolution. Though it is one of the shortest symphonies Haydn composed, its originality has solidified it in history-in particular, with its key of E-major, which was unusual for a classical symphony at the time. Within the piece, the lower strings drive the music forward while the upper strings maintain the elevated excitement. As a result, Haydn created dynamic contrasts, building tension between the instruments. The piece ends in a rush, as all the individual instruments realign together for a triumphant finish-echoing the original theme.

Following Haydn's expression of joy is Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. Highlighting love and passion, this piece employs an elaborate cypher to document Berg's secret love affair, which was deciphered due to a slight change in its "tone row." Developed by Schoenberg, the use of a tone row meant that a piece of music included all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale played in a specific order, with no single tone appearing more frequently than any other. However, Berg deviates from the serialist procedures in some portions of the composition; spelling out his initials and the initials of his illicit lover-A-B-H-F, for Alban Berg and Hanna Fuchs-Robettin (H represents the note B in German musical notation). Alongside these initial spellings, Berg mirrored a melody from a work by Alexander von Zemlinsky, which was originally set to the words "you are mine own." This musical reference further solidifies Berg's secret, romantic claim of his beloved within the piece.

Emmanuel Pahud will take the stage to open the second half of the program with Nielsen's Flute Concerto. As the Principle Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic, Pahud brings incredible talent and finesse to the instrument. Pahud has received the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to music, is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, and an Ambassador for UNICEF. In addition to his performance during this concert, Pahud will again return and share the stage with the Utah Symphony in April for Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.

Composed specifically for the Copenhagen Wind Quintet as a result of their incredible musicianship and tonal beauty, Nielson's Flute Concerto brings to light the various personalities of the musicians and their respective instruments-very similar to Elgar's portrayal of his friends in his Enigma Variations. This piece emphasizes a child-like innocence, with the melody weaving through the orchestra, touching a variety of the instruments before dancing along into a playful ending. Composer Paul Le Flem wrote in Comoedia after witnessing the debut performance: "The Concerto for flute and orchestra...has piquancy, drive and does not lack humour."

Following this playful concerto is Janáček's Sinfonietta which brings triumphant victory to the stage with the help of a dozen trumpets! Dedicated to the Czechoslovak Army, this piece expresses feelings of freedom, courage, and the determination to fight for victory-all resulting in a fanfare of joy. Within the composition, Janáček walks the audience through several variants of the original melody, with each movement highlighting a specific emotion on the journey to eventual freedom and celebration. By crafting his music in such a way, Janáček enables the audience to experience a wealth of emotions, ending with a rousing finale as they successfully complete their journey to victory.

The epic conclusion of the evening will be Mozart's Magic Flute Fantasy. Written during the extremely fertile last year of his life (in 1791), The Magic Flute became Mozart's final opera. The composition itself is an example of the popular dramatic style known as Singspiel (a blend of singing and spoken text). The allegorical plot, written by Emanuel Schikaneder, was influenced by Mozart's interest in Freemasonry and concerns the initiation of Prince Tamino. Enlisted by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the high priest Sarastro, Tamino comes to admire the high ideals of the latter; he and Pamina both join Sarastro's community, while the Queen and her allies are vanquished. The 2018 arrangement for flute and orchestra by Belgian composer Robert Fobbes paraphrases the best moments of Mozart's drama.

Mozart treats us right away to delightful instrumental playfulness, leading the audience to sense that something special is in store. Right in the middle of this infectious activity are the famous three-times-three chords, the "dreimalige Akkord," which not only echo the overture's opening but clear the air before the development proper, with spectacular effect. With this level of musical innovation, it is important to view The Magic Flute not as Mozart's benediction or farewell to opera but rather as the excited, forward-looking declaration of a young genius in his prime. This music represents the hopefulness of a man with plans for the future, not the last rites of someone who felt time slipping and assumed he had said enough.

For more information, please visit

Emmanuel Pahud Performs Mozart's Magic Flute Fantasy

Friday, February 03, 2023 / 7:30 p.m. / Abravanel Hall

Saturday, February 04, 2023 / 5:30 p.m. / Abravanel Hall
(123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah)


Thierry Fischer, conductor

Emmanuel Pahud, flute (Artist-In-Association)

Utah Symphony


HAYDN: Symphony No. 12

BERG: Lyric Suite

MOZART (arr. Robert Fobbes): Magic Flute Fantasy

NIELSEN: Flute Concerto

JANÁČEK: Sinfonietta

TICKETS start at $35


  • Online:
  • USUO mobile app
  • By Phone: USUO Patron Services, (801) 533-NOTE (6683)
  • In person: 123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • ArtTix outlets

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