The Utah Symphony and Music Director Thierry Fischer will present symphonic musical retellings of the tragic tale of "Romeo and Juliet" this Valentine's Day weekend with a special, additional performance night on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The orchestra will perform these Romantic works including Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy Overture and selections from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," Feb. 14, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall. Also on the program is Robert Schumann's Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra Op. 54, featuring award winning pianist Nicholas Angelich.
The classic tale of Romeo and Juliet has affected lovers of all ages with their passion and dedication for one another in the midst of a deadly family feud, and has inspired artists and composers to produce new renditions of the tale through film, music, art and dance.
Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy Overture is no stranger to the passion and adventure Shakespeare created in his original tale. The overture presents the agonizing story in full fold. Moments of intensity represent the power struggle between the two families, the Montagues and Capulets, followed by one of the most recognizable love themes in music history.
The selections from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" were originally written for the ballet in Moscow, but when the theatre dropped the ballet portion he finished it as a concert suite in order to present his music to the masses. This piece is one of the few non-political pieces Prokofiev wrote during that time.
Robert Schumann's Concerto in A minor was written during Schumann's "Chamber Music Year," and fittingly accompanies the theme of this Valentine's Day weekend concert, coming from the Romantic era and originating from a love story. The piece was written for Schumann's own love, his wife Clara. Preceding the work was the infamous legal battle to wed Clara between Clara's father and Schumann. The music was written for Clara, who was the first one to perform the work at its premiere. Surprisingly this is the only piano Concerto Schumann wrote. Although no one knows the reason why, it could be to be an exemplar of compositional intention and deep devotion for his beloved wife Clara. This work will feature American Pianist Nicholas Angelich.
Fischer and Toby Tolokan, Utah Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning, will present a free pre-concert chat Friday and Saturday night, one hour prior to the start of each performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall.
Single tickets for the performances range from $18 to $85 for February 14 and $18 to $67 for February 15 and 16 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel hall ticket office, 123 W. South Temple, or by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533- NOTE (6683). All ticket prices are subject to change and availability. Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.