Virtuoso pianist Shai Wosner stars in an evening that includes Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 6
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Copland—Appalachian Spring Ballet Suite: Perhaps the most quintessentially American orchestral suite of all time, Appalachian Spring evokes pioneer ideals of industry and humane fiddle treatment through folk tunes and hymns of the 19th century. It was commissioned as a ballet for Martha Graham in 1944, but the music has since floated free as a vibrant suite that needs no visual accompaniment.
Beethoven—Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major: The quiet notes of a piano open the first movement, later blending with the orchestra as it weaves in and out of the limelight. During the piece’s premiere, Beethoven acted as the solo pianist, marking the last time the composer would ever solo with an orchestra. Virtuoso Shai Wosner does the honors for this performance, while music director Michael Francis conducts and provides commentary on the piece.
Vaughan Williams—Symphony No. 6: Ralph Vaughan Williams may have disavowed any hidden meaning to this work (completed in 1947) but it’s hard not to hear bombs over London in the opening blasts from the brass section.