Pacific Symphony 40th season announcement


Music director Carl St.Clair and President John Forsyte unveiled plans today for Pacific Symphony’s 40th anniversary classical season in 2018-19. The schedule includes eight subscription programs (in multiple performances) conducted by St.Clair, who celebrates his 29th season as the orchestra’s leader. The Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation again sponsors the classical series, which is presented at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

The season opens Sept. 27-29 with concerts that commemorate the 40th anniversary. The program will include a new version of Frank Ticheli’s “Shooting Stars,” written for the orchestra for its 25th anniversary and updated here; and a performance of Ravel’s “Boléro” coupled with a newly commissioned film documenting the history of Pacific Symphony. Van Cliburn competition gold medalist Olga Kern will also return to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

The orchestra marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in the season’s second program (Oct. 25-27). St.Clair leads this tribute to his mentor, which includes the “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs,” with Symphony principal clarinetist Joseph Morris as soloist; the “Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium),” with violinist Augustin Hadelich as soloist; the “Chichester Psalms”; and selections from his Broadway musicals sung by Celena Shafer.

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Audio: Mahler: Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection,’ 3rd movement

The third movement of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony (which the Pacific Symphony plays this week), a scherzo, is an instrumental version (and expansion) of a song he was writing at the same time, “St. Anthony of Padua’s Sermon to the Fish.” The song text comes from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (The Boy’s Magic Horn), a collection of German folk poetry. Here’s a performance of the song, by the great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The translation of the humorous poem is below.

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Audio: Mahler: Symphony No. 2, first movement

It’s always good to do a little homework, a little listening, when a big work is on the agenda, as it is this week, when Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony close out the season with four performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.”

So here’s the first movement of the piece, with Bruno Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic. Walter was a close colleague of Mahler and I’ve always loved his way with the composer’s music. It is at once warm, dignified and lyrical.