On Sunday, it's a program that traces an arc from Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture to the Symphony No. 2 by Brahms, by way of a World Premiere performance of Samuel Jones’s Flute Concerto, written for—and played by—Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner.
Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado conducts.
The work known as the Rosamunde Overture was not a part of the Wilhelmina von Chézy play. Schubert actually wrote it to open a different play, The Magic Harp; but it was later incorrectly published as the overture to Rosamunde, and it’s been known by that title ever since.
Samuel Jones is a Mississippi native, and in 1997 he became composer-in-residence for the Seattle Symphony, a one-year appointment that lasted 14 years. During this period, he wrote more than a dozen major works premiered by the ensemble.
His compositions have won many honors, among them a Grammy nomination, and have been performed by many major U.S. orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, which performed his Elegy in the late 1970s.
In composing his Flute Concerto, Jones was deeply influenced by the unexpected death of his brother, and, as he composed the work, he learned from Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner that he, too, was dealing with the impending loss of a brother.
In this piece, with many Philadelphia connections, Jones has incorporated patriotic songs from the 18th through 21st centuries, including the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Battle Cry of Freedom,” the popular Civil War song, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,” and the 20th-century protest song “We Shall Overcome.” The procession culminates in Jones’s original hymn, "The Great Bell Rings for All."
The opening measures of the Symphony No. 2 of Brahms are unforgettable. They announce a symphony so very different from his first—here there is light, Schubertian beneficence, even cheerfulness.
During intermission, WRTI’s Susan Lewis interviews Jeffrey Khaner and composer Samuel Jones, and Debra Lew Harder sits down for a conversation with Pablo Heras-Casado.
Not to be missed, that’s Sunday, July 1st from 1 to 3 pm, on WRTI 90.1, the WRTI Mobile App, and streaming worldwide at wrti.org.
Schubert: Rosamunde Overture
Jones: Flute Concerto
Jeffrey Khaner, flute
Brahms: Symphony No. 2
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2