Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 honors Bach through structural patterns and telltale themes, resulting in a stunningly clear and refined swan song. Organist Wayne Marshall brings John Harbison’s Bach-inspired symphony to the Benaroya Hall stage.
Few works of art have cultivated beauty and rationality with such devotion and patience as the compositions on this program. Starting with Schoenberg’s Woodwind Quintet, the first great product of his revolutionary new method that allowed 45 minutes of pristine music to evolve organically out of a single series of 12 pitches in ways that continually inspires a keen listener’s sense of memory and expectation. Two centuries earlier, Bach produced a similar ode to reason in his “Goldberg Variations,” a composition that extracts from the humblest of songs an hour’s worth of kaleidoscopic possibilities, including every manner of canon and counterpoint.
What makes French music French? Throughout Music Director Ludovic Morlot’s tenure, the orchestra has explored the rich colors of French music. This season the orchestra highlights the music of Debussy and Ravel, along with creations by contemporary composer Marc-André Dalbavie. The conversation with University of Washington Professor Emeritus Dr. Larry Starr explores the wide-ranging, even universal, values to be found in music frequently categorized along nationalistic lines.