Bows and Beasts


MARCH 4 2018, 7pm

Scott Speck Conductor
Per Tengstrand Piano
Shan-shan Sun Piano
Jory Vinikour Harpsichord
David Perry Violin
Robert Hanford Violin
Kathleen Brauer Violin
Jennifer Cappelli Violin

Camille Saint-Saëns The Carnival of the Animals
Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings
Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins in B minor, RV 580
Walter Leigh Concertino for Harpsichord and Strings
Ogden Nash Verses for Camille Saint-Saëns The Carnival of the Animals

Approximate running time 2 hours including intermission

“Now we’ve reached the grand finale,
Animale carnivale.
Noises new to sea and land,
Issue from the skillful band.”
– Ogden Nash, Verses for Camille Saint-Saëns The Carnival of Animals

A concert of worldly contrasts from Saint-Saëns’ grand parade of fauna to Vivaldi’s transcendent violin spectacular. Led by the Royal March of the Lion, The Carnival of the Animals takes the audience through a zoological discovery of animals including roosters, tortoises, kangaroos, fish, birds and the elegant swan. Each theme is unique to the creature, embodying the movement, temperament and spirit of the animal. In 1949, Ogden Nash wrote a series of playful poems to accompany the carnival, which will be performed alongside the symphony.

Just as the The Carnival of Animals is drawn from the innate qualities of animals it represents, Tchaikovsky wrote Serenade for Strings from “an innate impulse”: a composition to which he proclaimed “I love this Serenade terribly and fervently hope it might soon see the light of day.” The Chicago Philharmonic’s acclaimed string musicians bring Tchaikovsky’s graceful yet impassioned work to life.

One of the outstanding harpsichordists of this generation, Jory Vinikour, performs Walter Leigh’s most successful work Concertino for Harpsichord and Strings. And completing the program is Vivaldi’s Concerto, one of four concertos for four violins and orchestra from L’estro armonico, the harmonic inspiration, which has been widely performed since the 18th century. A virtuoso piece for violin, The Concerto for Four Violins features Concertmaster David Perry alongside three other of Chicago Philharmonic’s finest violinists.

Characterized by the New York Times as “Two pianos, four hands, but one heart…”, married piano duo Per Tengstrand and Shan-shan Sun bring their talents to Chicago for “Bows and Beasts”. The talented award-winning piano team, who have released several albums both together and individually, boast illustrious careers with performances all across the globe.

Tickets $25-$75

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