Toronto Symphony Orchestra Presents "Symphonie Fantastique" at 8 p.m. on January 27 or 28

Roy Thomson Hall

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Symphonie Fantastique

  • Sibelius—”The Swan of Tuonela” from Lemminkäinen Suite: Before the strings begin grieving, before the English horn starts mourning, before the percussion session begins rhythmically blowing their noses, the musicians playing “The Swan of Tuonela” already know the tone. On the head of the score is this inscription from the Kalevala: “Tuonela, the land of death, the Hell of Finnish mythology, is surrounded by a large river with black waters and a rapid current, on which the Swan of Tuonela floats majestically, singing.”
  • Dutilleux—Correspondences: In this orchestral song cycle, music inspired by the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and Prithwindra Mukheriee forms a sonic rapport with a letter from Vincent van Gogh to his brother and a letter from Nobel Prize–winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, thanking the friends who sheltered him during his Gulag exile. Soprano Barbara Hannigan takes the lead in this performance.
  • Berlioz—Symphonie Fantastique: Leonard Bernstein called the Fantastique, “the first psychedelic symphony in history.” Indeed the composer himself describes the “plot” as revolving around a young lovesick musician who “poisons himself with opium” that “plunges him into a heavy sleep” wherein “his feelings, sensations and memories are translated by his sick brain into musical thoughts and images.” Considering that Berlioz was inspired by a romantic infatuation for Irish actress Harriet Smithson at the time he was writing this work, it’s likely that a good portion of that plot is autobiographical—which may explain its psychedelic nature.

The Fine Print

Expiration varies. Limit 8/person. Valid only for option purchased. Redeem on day of event for a ticket at venue box office. Refundable only on day of purchase. Must purchase together to sit together. Discount reflects merchant's current ticket prices, which may change. ADA seating cannot be guaranteed; contact Toronto Symphony Orchestra at (416) 598-3375 prior to purchase for availability. Ticket value includes all fees. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

About Symphonie Fantastique

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