For the final concert of the season, we bring together three works by composers who demonstrate extraordinary strength while confronting extreme emotional pressures.
In the opera Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten writes with deep psychological insight into the atmosphere of a small village that cannot tolerate people who are different. The opera’s seven-minute Passacaglia portrays the most harrowing moment in the opera, when the drama is played out off-stage.
Paul Hindemith’s Symphony Mathis der Maler imagines the inner life of the painter Matthias Grünewald, who created artwork of enormous compassion even while suffering fierce personal persecution. Because of its content, and its mastery, the Nazis considered the work to pose a serious threat. Hindemith was forced to leave the country.
Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony finds the composer at the height of his creative powers, despite living uneasily in a culture that rejected the very essence of his being. His final composition, the Pathetique, is one of the greatest tragic utterances in the history of music. No degree of familiarity with the work lessens its power to touch us, and it seems to reach places within us that only this work can. -Benjamin Zander
BRITTEN: Peter Grimes
HINDEMITH: Mathis der Maler
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6
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