Boston Symphony Orchestra with Murray Perahia play Carnegie Hall Live

February 11, 2014

NEW YORK — Tonight, Tuesday, February, 11, piano virtuoso Murray Perahia takes stage in the Stern Auditorium in Carnegie Hall to play a program of Purcell/Stucky, Schumann and Brahms live at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST.

"The synergy between any conductor and orchestra is always something of a mystery to outsiders, but the rapport between this pair is unmistakable," proclaimed The Boston Globe of this esteemed orchestra and its conductor laureate, the legendary Bernard Haitink.

Experience this remarkable connection for yourself when they return to Carnegie Hall for a program of works from the Romantic period by Schumann and Brahms, paired with Purcell / Steven Stucky Funeral Music for Queen Mary.

At a Glance

Two familiar works dominate this program: Robert Schumann's powerful yet lyric Piano Concerto and the last of Brahms's four great symphonies. Schumann conceived his concerto for his wife Clara, herself a composer and celebrated pianist. He wrote the piece over several years, specifically aiming toward something beyond the genre's more purely virtuosic norm. Originating as a single-movement Fantasie in 1841, it reached its final three-movement form in 1845. In her diary, Clara commented on the delicate interweaving of the piano and orchestra parts, one of the work's most distinctive and engaging characteristics.

Though Schumann's protege Johannes Brahms waited until his 40s to complete a first symphony, all four of his works in the genre remain central to the core repertoire. In characteristic understatement, Brahms downplayed the intense, minor-mode Fourth—which ends with his own dark take on the antique variation form called a passacaglia--as "a bunch of polkas and waltzes." No slave to Classical models, he determinedly ended the work in the minor mode, where tradition would have dictated a change to major.

"Rethinking" figures in this concert's opening work as well: a wind ensemble re-composition, by the Kansas-born, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, of the 17th-century Englishman Henry Purcell's funeral music for Queen Mary. Stucky was appointed composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1988 by its then-music director Andre Previn, a relationship that continued when Esa-Pekka Salonen took the helm. It was Salonen who suggested that Stucky transcribe Purcell's music for performance by the orchestra, with which Salonen gave the premiere in 1992.

Program

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Bernard Haitink, Conductor

Murray Perahia, Piano

HENRY PURCELL/STEVEN STUCKY Funeral Music for Queen Mary

ROBERT SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54

JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

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