Led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, including vocal soloists Christine Brewer, soprano; Malena Ernman, mezzo-soprano; Jon Villars, tenor and Nathan Gunn, baritone, perform works by Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler. The program is the last in the season's Schoenberg Prism - the citywide celebration of the Los Angeles-based composer's music in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death.
Concerts take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m. In addition, special Upbeat Live pre-concert events occur one hour prior to each performance in the Grand Hall and are free to all ticket holders. The March 22, 23 and 24 Upbeat Live discussions include a Schoenberg dance panel moderated by Karen Painter, associate professor of music at Harvard.
Throughout the season, the Prism programs have placed Schoenberg's works alongside those of other great composers, revealing his debt to the towering figures of the past, as well as his own stature as a revolutionary and visionary artist. This last series program places Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht ("Transfigured Night") with Mahler's Das klagende Lied ("The Song of Lamentation").
Vienna in the late 1800s underwent a cultural movement when barriers were being broken and boundaries expanded. In literature, a strain of erotic neo-Romanticism was making its mark and Verklärte Nacht, a Schoenberg work inspired by a Richard Dehmel poem, reflects the environment of the time.
Twenty-five-year-old Schoenberg originally composed the radical piece for a sextet comprised of two violins, two violas and two cellos. In 1917, however, he re-scored the work for a full string orchestra; this version received its premiere in March 1918 by the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig. Schoenberg made final changes to this version - the work on this program - in 1943.
Another Viennese composer receiving accolades at the time was Gustav Mahler who in 1880 completed the cantata, Das klagende Lied. Twelve years later, the composer revised the score with his most extreme amendment being to cut Waldmärchen (Forest Legend), the first of three sections. The abbreviated two-part version premiered in Vienna in February 1901. The first American performance (and third ever) of the complete work was given by the New Haven Symphony in January 1970. It is the three-movement version that will be performed here.
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October, 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the Orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, seven critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia of London from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.
The award-winning LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE is celebrating its 37th year this season and its first under the baton of Maestro Grant Gershon. The acclaimed 120-voice Chorale was awarded the top national prize in the professional chorus category from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Chorus America, and received a Grammy nomination in January for the CD Lux Aeterna, released May 1998. As an independent and flexible ensemble, it is the largest choral organization of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1964 by the late Roger Wagner, the Chorale presented its first concert in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion that year, and it continues to present a yearly concert series. The Chorale has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras while touring the United States and the former Soviet Union, and often serves as a chorus for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Friday, March 22, 8 PM
Saturday, March 23, 8 PM
Sunday, March 24, 2:30 PM
DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor
CHRISTINE BREWER, soprano
MALENA ERNMAN, mezzo-soprano
JON VILLARS, tenor
NATHAN GUNN, baritone
LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE
Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht ("Transfigured Night")
Mahler Das klagende Lied ("The Song of Lamentation")
Upbeat Live discussions, one hour prior to concerts, include a Schoenberg dance panel moderated by Karen Painter, associate professor of music at Harvard.
Tickets ($12 - $78) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213/365-3500. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.com. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available 2 hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323/850-2000.
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Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323/850-2021