Sibelius & Brahms
November 20 - November 23, 2014
Calling all Sibelius lovers! On this program you will hear three works by the great Finnish master that essentially define him as a composer. First and most famous is Finlandia, turbulent at the beginning, inspiringly melodic at the end. It was written in protest over Russian incursions and censorship in Finland, and it soon became a sort of alternate to the actual Finnish national anthem. Then, in "The Swan of Tuonela" we find the composer in an altogether less public mood. It is dark, haunting, and ineffably beautiful, and contains one of the most striking solo parts for English horn ever composed (played at these performances by Peggy Pearson). Finally, the compressed, gnomic and staggeringly powerful Seventh Symphony, the composer’s last symphony and the crowning achievement of his compositional life.
After intermission the great Korean pianist HaeSun Paik joins the orchestra for Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto. Ms. Paik is one of the musical giants of the classical world today. Her total command of the piano is simply overpowering, and these gigantic technical resources are always in service to a probing musical mind and deep and stirring sensitivity. Her every performance is a major event, and the Philharmonic is proud to be able to present her in these concerts playing one of the greatest, and most demanding, of all piano concertos.