In a first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance of a work by composer-conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, this week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on WRTI 90.1 will feature his Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 pm, and Monday night, Sept. 24 at 7 pm on HD-2.
It's based on a nearly century-old Carl Sandburg poem, and scored for a chamber orchestra, bar band, soprano, and two backup singers.
The soprano is Measha Brueggergosman, a remarkable singing actress who made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2007 at the Marian Anderson Award Concert, and makes her subscription debut with this performance. Ms. Breuggergosman, a native of Canada, was nominated for a Grammy with her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon.
Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind swerves in and out of Modernism, blues, and bar band, with guitar and piano solos, and, if you know Sandburg’s poem, it can be chilling in its Ozymandian echoes!
After intermission, a work the Philadelphia Orchestra first performed in 1901, just eight years after it was composed, and it is one of the most frequently performed works in the Orchestra’s history: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique.”
Tchaikovsky died just ten days after its premiere, but he had sketched the symphony months earlier and had no idea he would die before the year was out. He was also in good spirits during its composition, loved the work, and even told his brother he thought he’d live a long time, which wouldn’t seem to support the theory that he committed suicide. There has been, of course, much speculation, but speculation is all it is.
During intermission, Debra Lew Harder speaks with Maestro Tilson Thomas, and Bliss Michelson has a conversation with Measha Breuggergosman.
Don’t miss it. A first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance, and another work the Orchestra has been performing for 117 years!
That’s 1 to 3 PM, this Sunday, September 23rd on WRTI 90.1, the WRTI Mobile App, and streaming at wrti.org!
Tilson Thomas: Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind
Measha Breuggersman, soprano
Michaela Bennett and Kara Dugan, vocalists
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas, 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 the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.