The Unanswered Question
Benjamin Zander, conductor
Zuill Bailey, cello
The final program of the season is action packed indeed! A world-renowned soloist, a cataclysmic orchestral tour-de-force, one of the seminal works of American music, and all capped by Strauss’ most riotous and infectious tone poem.
Cellist Zuill Bailey, still a young man, has leaped to the forefront of cellists today. He is a masterful communicator, both on the concert stage and in master classes. He even demonstrated remarkable skill in front of the TV cameras when he played a role on the path-breaking HBO TV series Oz! His performance of Elgar’s beloved Cello Concerto will captivate the audience in one unbroken arc of expressive intensity.
Ravel’s La Valse is possibly the most overtly dramatic work that the composer wrote, an incremental deconstruction of the Viennese Waltz that by the end, whether by accident or design, turns virtually apocalyptic. Contrasting with the extreme sensuousness of Ravel is the stubborn modernist vision of Ives with the Unanswered Question. Ives’ signature use of layered simultaneous textures is prominent, and contributes to the feeling of an explosive artwork.
Concluding the concert is Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel, perhaps the most infectious and perfectly conceived of all the Strauss tone poems. The madcap adventures of this rogue provide a hilarious conclusion to a concert, and a season, of rich and varied treasures.
All dates, repertoire, venues, and artists subject to change.