Pound for pound, they are as good as any orchestra, and they have few rivals.
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Tue, Mar 2, 7:30pm
Ma mère l'Oye Suite
Symphony No. 5
Centuries of refined European orchestral tradition meet the dynamism of South America's favorite son when the majestic Vienna Philharmonic and the charismatic Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel unite for three lush and powerful orchestral programs. Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic have developed a close relationship in recent years—in 2017, he became the youngest-ever conductor to lead the orchestra's annual New Year's Day concert broadcast to 50 million viewers in nearly 90 countries; and the following year, he conducted the orchestra in a whirlwind friendship tour of the Americas. Dudamel has earned a cult following among music connoisseurs for the vitality and sophistication of his interpretations, and the Vienna Philharmonic is revered for a depth of sound that is "rich in detail and fearsome in its intensity" (The Guardian, London). In their first Cal Performances concerts together, Dudamel and the orchestra perform a rich collection of Old World masterworks culled from recent collaborations.
The first program explores color and light, pairing Schubert's kaleidoscopic Fifth Symphony with Ravel's dreamy Rapsodie espagnole and the radiant miniatures of his Mother Goose suite, plus Stravinsky's brilliant ballet score based on the Russian fairy tales of the Firebird. The second program offers a fascinating contrast between an actual Classical-era symphony by Haydn and Prokofiev's later reflection on the Classical style, and is capped by the Russian master's grand and exuberant Fifth Symphony. The final, all-Russian program places Rimsky-Korsakov's evocative orchestral suite Scheherazade in conversation with Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, a work of dramatic shifts that ranges from delicate to turbulent.
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