For the second program of the season we move west, from Russia to France and England. And with the move come very different sound worlds and aesthetics. The two French pieces, by Debussy and Dutilleux, are masterpieces of subtle and luminous orchestral colors and haunting melodic originality, and both have the strange quality of a waking dream. The great French master Henri Dutilleux died in 2013 at the age of 97, and among the many glories of his lifetime of creativity the cello concerto Tout un monde lointain… stands out as possibly the masterpiece. The American cellist Zuill Bailey, one of the real luminaries among today’s great masters of the instrument, is renowned as a performer of extraordinary passion, musical integrity and communicative power.
The second half of this program crosses the English channel for two remarkable British works. Walton’s teeming Scapino Overture might be thought of as an English counterpart to Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel, a tone poem that characterizes the personality of a lovable rogue who always seems to get the last laugh. And to conclude, Elgar’s musical depictions of his unnamed friends, the Enigma Variations, the work that solidified his standing as a master composer and that has remained probably the most beloved of all his works. It is fascinating to hear the contrasts in the two halves of this program: the subtle dreamscapes that are conjured up by the French works, and the extremely realistic and robust portraiture of the English ones.
thursday, november 17, 2016
7:30pm / sanders theatre
Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander throughout concert (Discovery Series)
saturday, november 19 , 2016
8:00pm / nec’s jordan hall
Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 6:45pm
sunday, november 20, 2016
3:00pm / sanders theatre
Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 1:45pm