Thursday, November 18, 2010
After witnessing the whirling emotions of his wife’s pregnancy, the pain of labor, and their culmination in the birth of his daughter, John Adams was inspired to re-tell the story of the most famous birth of all: the birth of Jesus. Narrated by a woman, El Niño is a Nativity story you won’t find in the Bible. Commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony in 2000, the oratorio uses texts drawn from English, Spanish and Latin sources, ranging from mystic and author Hildegard von Bingen to the pioneering Mexican poet and novelist Rosario Castellanos.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 10:41 AM
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 3:32 PM
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Richard Strauss’ tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) is regarded by many as a musical self-portrait. Its vivid sketches of the characters and events depict the hero himself, in a soaring E flat-major horn solo; his adversaries, played by stumbling tubas; and, in what is generally thought to be a portrait of Strauss’ opera diva wife, Pauline, a violin solo that runs from loving and playful to emotional and nagging. Written after winning a ten-year contract with the Berlin Court Opera, Strauss’ sky-high spirits are evident in this adventure of a work.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 4:43 PM