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Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro is perhaps the most well-known piece of music from the opera. Declarations of love live at the heart of two Romantic masterpieces. Tristan and Isolde, with its endless longing and deep passion, set all of Western music on a new course. Mahler extended that language on a grand scale in his Fifth Symphony, creating a work of vast scope and intense psychological theater. Its famous Adagietto was written as a love song to his future wife, Alma.
Three towering works standing on the cusp of the Romantic age. Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 encapsulates the themes of his opera: anguish, liberation, love and joy. Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem were both left incomplete at their deaths, without explanation. They have cast spells over every subsequent generation, sharing dark mysteries through their lyric beauty.
An all-American program opens with Joan Tower’s celebratory overture, which varies the melody of America the Beautiful in glorious ways. Delius’ Appalachia pays tribute to the people and landscape of Florida, where the composer lived as a young adult. To many Americans, Copland’s Appalachian Spring epitomizes the sound of the heartland, just as Bernstein’s On the Town embodies life in the big city.
Color, movement and a kaleidoscope of international styles. Turina – and early 20th century pioneer – established flamenco as a thoroughly authentic style ripe for the big stage. The virtuosic Korean Three Drum Dance amazes both visually and aurally. Rachmaninoff’s last score, the tour-de-force Symphonic Dances, holds charms and thrills right up to its final, electrifying “Allelujah.”