Seventy years ago today, November 14, 1943, 25 year old Leonard Bernstein made a triumphant debut conducting the New York Philharmonic. He had been an assistant conductor with that great orchestra for only two months, but fate intervened to give his career a huge boost.
So aware was Johannes Brahms of Beethoven’s spirit looking over his shoulder, it took him a very long time to get around to completing a first symphony. In fact he was 43 when Symphony No. 1 in C minor premiered in 1876. Three other major works for orchestra had already appeared before the First Symphony: Serenades 1 and 2 (1857 and 1859) and the First Piano Concerto (1858).
On October 15, 1963, the Berlin Philharmonic inaugurated their new modern concert hall with Herbert von Karajan leading the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This evening on Symphony @ 7, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Philharmonie.
For this Columbus Day, this evening at 7pm on Classical 101 we will have our own Columbus Symphony Orchestra with Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor. It was recorded in 2008 with former music director Junichi Hirokami and is a fine performance, too. I hope you’ll join us for that.
Yesterday evening on Symphony @ 7, we had Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, the Pathetique as our main musical offering. For the rest of the week, we continue with other great Russian symphonies. Still to come are works by Alexander Glazunov, Dmitri Shostakovitch, Alexander Borodin and Sergei Prokofiev.
All this week, we’re featuring the Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen on Symphony @ 7. He recently won the ECHO Klassik Award for Conductor of the Year for his recordings of the symphonies of Witold Lutaslawski released as a set on the Sony Classical label.
This evening on Symphony @ 7, we have a single musical offering, the Third Symphony of Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, a nearly hour-long work he titled Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.
All during the month of August, we’ve been celebrating American symphonies on Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101. We’re winding down now for the final week. Yesterday, we had Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony, and for the rest of the week, it’s symphonies by Jerome Moross, Adolphus Hailstork, George Whitefield Chadwick, and Dan Locklair.
“Celebrating American Symphonies” continues this evening on Symphony @ 7 with music of the 19th and 20th centuries from John Knowles Paine and Lou Harrison.
This evening on Symphony @ 7, we continue celebrating American symphonies with a bona fide American masterpiece, the Third Symphony of Roy Harris.