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In April 1988, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra played the State Theatre’s inaugural concert upon its reopening. Now, the world-renowned orchestra returns to celebrate its 78th season with a program featuring Rachmaninoff, Alexander Tchaikovsky, and Camille Saint Saëns.
- Alexander Tchaikovsky—The Khojaly Requiem: Contemporary composer Alexander Tchaikovsky—don’t worry, he bears no relation to The Nutcracker’s Mouse King—wrote this requiem in support of those who survived the 1992 Khojaly Massacre, a tragedy in which hundreds of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians lost their lives.
- Saint Saëns—Cello Concerto No. 1: Saint Saëns’ cello concerto extends through three distinct sections without ever pausing, leading some to think of the work as a single, sonata-form movement. However one looks at it, the first and third segments share considerable material, often bouncing themes from the solo cello to the orchestra or vice versa.
- Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2: Shattered by the poor reception of his first symphony, Rachmaninoff slipped into a years-long depression that was only lifted through intensive hypnotherapy. He began work on his second symphony in strict secrecy to keep preemptive criticism at bay, eventually restoring his reputation with the meticulously constructed piece. Highlights include the exuberant second movement, which opens with galloping strings backed by regal peals from the horns.