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Utah Symphony Shares the Genius of Beethoven in Program Featuring the Famed Fifth Symphony

The concerts will take place this weekend, on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, at Abravanel Hall in downtown Salt Lake City.

Utah Symphony Shares the Genius of Beethoven in Program Featuring the Famed Fifth Symphony

You've heard the famous opening four notes-now, experience the full symphonic work as the Utah Symphony presents Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Two evening performances will be conducted by Markus Poschner-a conductor renowned for his Beethoven interpretations who also shares a birthplace with the famous German-born composer. The concerts will take place this weekend, on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, at Abravanel Hall in downtown Salt Lake City. In addition, the Utah Symphony will perform two works filled with drama and intensity- Raminta Šerkšnytě's Fires and Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1.

The hauntingly beautiful Fires by Raminta Šerkšnytě captures the essence of restless energy and building anticipation in music. In fact, this piece was written knowing it would preface Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Composer Šerkšnytě stated, "When composing this piece, I had several sources of inspiration. First of all, I knew that in the premiere performance it would be played before Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, therefore a few motives from this symphony became the kernel of harmonic development of my music." As such, she composed a piece that grows in strength and intensity like its namesake-while mirroring an evolving melody that builds upon the previous notes, similar to the famous 5th Symphony.

Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 will feature cello soloist Maximilian Hornung, who appears regularly with top orchestras in Europe and the U.S. Considered one of Shostakovich's finest concertos, this piece pairs extraordinary musical innovation with virtuosic solo instrument writing. Featuring a variety of challenging natural harmonics, this piece tests the technical ability of the soloist-and of the orchestra-building a rigorous pace of passionate intensity matching that of the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, for whom the work was originally written.

Following the cello concerto is Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 which publicly debuted during the composer's famous marathon concert that lasted four full hours. Although the musicians were poorly rehearsed and the concert hall was extremely cold, Beethoven changed history with his astounding piece, which continually transforms and evolves his distinct four-note motif. This piece evokes powerful reactions among listeners, as Beethoven strikes bold notes that resonate deeply through repeating waves of zealous emotion. These emotions mirrored the internal battles that the composer himself was facing, as he underwent a crucial turning point in his life with the gradual loss of his hearing. Audience members will hear this inner turmoil and its resolution as the piece plays out-showcasing Beethoven's eventual acceptance of his fate.



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