The Inextinguishable Human Spirit
October 12 - October 15, 2011
Maestro Benjamin Zander lends his trademark enthusiastic and impassioned musical style to an evening that explores the trials and triumphs of the human spirit, leading the Boston Philharmonic in their first 2011-2012 series concert. A program of desperately heart-wrenching and yet thrillingly uplifting music, the event opens with Sibelius’s Swan of Tuonela, an atmospheric tone poem born out of Finnish folklore. This meditation on loss and death is driven by the melancholy sound of the English horn, played by principal oboist Peggy Pearson.
The evening continues as world-renowned soloist Ilya Kaler, winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, plays Tchaikovsky’s virtuosic masterpiece, the Violin Concerto in D. Written during a tumultuous period following an ill-fated marriage, the concerto is known for its achingly romantic yet heroic melodies. The first movement, an exhilarating march that keeps tension alive by never settling into its “home” key, frequently appears in film.
Finally, the orchestra tackles Danish hero Carl Nielsen’s epic Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable.” A product of World War I, this bombastic piece––full of endless musical twists and crashing chords––celebrates life’s resilience in the face of constant struggle. A fitting end to Boston Phil’s musical journey, Nielsen’s work suggests that life, like music, is “inextinguishable.”