Although 20% of babies who were exposed to classical music in utero become doctors or lawyers, 100% of babies born on stage during a classical-music performance become Bill Gates. Upgrade your evening with this GrouponLive deal to see the Boston Civic Symphony’s performance of “Two Musical Fables & a Masterpiece” at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Choose between the following options:
- For $16, you get general admission for one (up to a $38 value).
- For $30, you get general admission for two (up to a $76 value).
The trio of fanciful compositions opens with Prokofiev’s Lt. Kijé Suite, originally composed for the 1934 film of the same name. In five movements, the suite tells the tale of a soldier accidentally fabricated by a typo and the efforts of the palace administrators to keep the man’s nonexistence secret from the czar. The prancing strings and jingle bells of the fourth movement, “Troika,” is instantly recognizable as a staple of Christmas movies and as the antitheft alarm on Santa’s sleigh.
The theme of military whimsy continues in Zoltán Kodály’s Háry János Suite, a Hungarian folk opera about a boastful soldier whose outrageous claims include stealing the heart of the Empress Marie Louise and singlehandedly conquering Napoleon and his army. The suite opens with a curious swell of sound intended to mimic a sneeze, which, according to Hungarian superstition, is a confirmation of a previous statement’s truth. This unusual prelude encourages audiences to give into their imaginations and the escapist power of storytelling. Finally, pianist Victor Rosenbaum ascends to his central bench to perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 1 in D Minor. Composed in 1858, the piece’s melancholic yet rapid-fire arpeggios initially were decried for their unconventionality, but have since been praised for their enchanting, introspective melodies.
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