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The Firebird

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Kimmel Center: Verizon HallPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, PA 19102, United States
November 21 19:30, November 22 14:00, November 23 20:00
Performers
Kelley O'ConnorMezzo-soprano
Philadelphia Orchestra
Stéphane DenèveConductor

With these concerts our esteemed colleague Stéphane Denève begins his sixth and final season as our principal guest conductor. Soviet-born American composer Lera Auerbach says she was drawn to the myth of Icarus because of “his wish to reach the unreachable, the intensity of the ecstatic brevity of his flight, and the inevitability of his fall.” Her adventurous musical palette exploits the full sonic range of the orchestra: shimmering, soaring, and ultimately dying away. Stravinsky describes a different myth about feathered flight in his Firebird. He mined everything from Russian folk music to his classical forebears (especially his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov) to tell this story of a prince, an evil king, and, of course, a magical firebird. Peter Lieberson set five love poems by Pablo Neruda to music in this touching work written for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who gave the world premiere.

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