Marin Alsop conducts Wagner, Szymanowski, and Prokofiev — With Ewa Tracz

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

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Ewa Tracz — Soprano

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Marin Alsop — Conductor

Program notes

For the first time on, experience the talents of the marvelous Ewa Tracz in this concert brimming with romance! Live from the Katowice Concert Hall, the soprano joins the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, led by the great maestra Marin Alsop. The uber-romantic program begins with two of the most enduring moments in all of opera—from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, the famed, revolutionary Prelude and the heartbreaking apotheosis of the Liebestod—then continues with Szymanowski's Love Songs of Hafiz and Prokofiev's beloved Romeo and Juliet!

In 1914, when Szymanowski's 1914 Love Songs of Hafiz were composed, a wave of Orientalist art was still in vogue—but Szymanowski's songs are not merely the result of an artistic fad. The composer drew on two main sources for inspiration: first, Hans Bethge's volume Hafiz, a paraphrase of works by the 14th-century Persian poet Hafiz; second, the German Romantic melodies and harmonies that had animated masterpieces like Tristan und Isolde

The evening comes to a close with excerpts from the three orchestral suites of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, including the magnificent Death of Juliet. In this sublimely moving and thoughtfully chosen program, Maestra Alsop and the NOSPR propose a fresh new approach to both lesser-heard and widely beloved works.

Photo: Marin Alsop © Adriane White

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