The British conductor Edward Gardner, the chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, and the principal conductor-designate of the London Philharmonic, made an impressive Philadelphia Orchestra debut at the end of last February, and little did we know that this would be the penultimate concert of the Orchestra’s aborted 2019-2020 season with an audience.
So much has changed since that last weekend in February of 2020.
This was a very satisfying first performance by Mr. Gardner, in a program that represents the heart of his repertory—Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, to open the program, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations to bring it to a rousing close. This Sunday, WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast brings you this concert, as it happened, from 1 to 3 PM and agin on Monday night at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.
Also on the program, the extraordinary organist Paul Jacobs performs a work by the contemporary American composer Michael Daugherty, Once Upon a Castle, a lush orchestral showpiece inspired by the composer’s visits to Big Sur on the Pacific coast, and the theater organ in William Randolph Hearst’s spectacular San Simeon mansion. This was the first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance of this cinematic work.
Also, be sure to join us for Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, a powerful anti-war piece, written in America in 1939, Daugherty’s spectacular explosion of panoramic orchestral color, and the flying hands and feet of organist Paul Jacobs, Once Upon a Castle, and the 42-year-old Edward Elgar’s masterpiece that launched him to international fame, the Enigma Variations!
During intermission, WRTI’s Bliss Michelson chats backstage with both Paul Jacobs and Edward Gardner. Don’t miss it, Sunday, April 19th from 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1 and streaming at WRTI.org.
Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20
II. Dies irae
III. Requiem aeternam
Daugherty: Once Upon a Castle, symphonie concertante for organ and orchestra
I. The Winding Road to San Simeon
II. Neptune Pool
IV. Xanadu (First Philadelphia Orchestra performances)
Paul Jacobs, organ
Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 (“Enigma”)
Enigma (Theme): Andante
X. Dorabella: Intermezzo
XIII. ***: Romanza
XIV. E.D.U.: Finale
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at WRTI.org, every Sunday from 1 to 3 pm, and re-broadcast Monday nights at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2. And now until June, 2020: Listen to a weekly schedule of re-broadcasts of additional archival Philadelphia Orchestra concerts. Each program airs Thursday at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 and streaming online, and again on Friday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and our classical stream.