Good music is as vital to human survival as water, oxygen, and gravy-only diets. Soak up at least two of these four bodily essentials with today's Groupon. For $25, you get one ticket (up to a $52 value) to the Kansas City Symphony's performance of Mahler's Monumental 4th on either April 9 or April 10 at 8 p.m. Held at the Lyric Theater, the performance features internationally renowned soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, a 20-year Metropolitan Opera veteran whose résumé includes performances with the finest symphonies, opera companies, and cat choirs on the globe.
The performance begins with Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern leading the ensemble through Maurice Ravel's 1919 Le Tombeau de Couperin, a four-movement orchestral homage to baroque composer François Couperin. Next, the evocative melody of Samuel Barber's 1947 lyric rhapsody for orchestra and voice, Knoxville: Summer of 1915, fills the air as Ms. Murphy narrates scenes from author James Agee's dreamlike childhood memoir. After a brief intermission for flutes of champagne and handfuls of de-sloppied sloppy joes (also known as Dapper Dans), Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 sneaks into the concert hall with the jingle of two sleigh bells, then erupts into a ghostly scherzo that builds to a solemn march before finally reaching a gentle conclusion with the soprano's bucolic, childlike warbling.
The Kansas City Symphony has been serenading local music lovers since 1982, with Maestro Michael Stern at the helm for the past five years. Come and be dazzled by his ability to make 80 musicians play in tandem with the stroke of a magical twig-like baton, and experience how a night at the symphony can be a refreshing change of pace from an exhausting life on the run. To redeem your Groupon, call ahead to reserve your preferred concert date; then pick up your ticket at will call before the show.
- But overall, Maestro Michael Stern directed with vigor and precision. He brought out the noble quality in this music, something that's usually overlooked in early Beethoven performance. – John Heuertz, Kansas City Star
- Maestro Michael Stern, since taking the helm of the Kansas City Symphony just four years ago, has taken his gifted colleagues on an artistic voyage of increasingly impressive reach. – Terry Rombeck, Lawrence Journal-World blogs
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