Legendary Lovers

Legendary Lovers

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 3 pm
Pick-Staiger Hall
50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Gounod Love Duet from Romeo and Juliet
Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Verdi “Signor né principe” from Rigoletto
Diamond Music for Romeo and Juliet
Bernstein Balcony Scene from West Side Story
Ravel Daphnis and Chloé, Suite 2

Scott Speck conductor
Emily Birsan soprano
John Irvin tenor
NEXT! foyer music: Belle Harmonie harp duo (Krista Hagglund and Anna Hirons)

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The Chicago Philharmonic season kicks off with a celebration of Love’s great couples: Romeo & Juliet, Tony & Maria, Daphnis & Chloé, Tristan & Isolde, and Ruslan & Ludmila. The orchestra performs colorful music of blissful excitement, heart-wrenching longing, and everything in between as soprano Emily Birsan and tenor John Irvin, both recently engaged by the Lyric Opera, bring their knock-out voices to this afternoon of orchestral works and love duets. Read more

The Prelude and “Liebestod” from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde is one of the most searing expressions of fatal love ever composed; a seemingly endless melody builds to vertiginous emotional heights. Mikhail Glinka became the father of Russian music with his bubbly and sparkling Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila. The duet for Gilda and the Duke from Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto is an iconic example of treacherous love. And the second suite from Daphnis and Chloé is a stunning orchestral showpiece, building from a quiet sunrise to a wild and ecstatic climax.

The concert also features three very different takes on the Balcony Scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: Gounod’s suave and lyrical duet for soprano and tenor, David Diamond’s mid-century American tone poem, and Leonard Bernstein’s brilliant modern reimagining, set on a New York City fire escape, in West Side Story.


For concert talk information for community members of The Chicago Philharmonic Society, click here.

Season Sponsor
Von Maur

Generous support for this concert is also provided by the
Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

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The Chicago Philharmonic’s 2016-17 season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

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Photography by Elliot Mandel, Devon Cass, and Todd Rosenberg