The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: Jaap van Zweden, conductor / <i>Beyond the Score</i>: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 - Pure Melodrama?

National Symphony Orchestra: Jaap van Zweden, conductor / Beyond the Score: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 - Pure Melodrama?

Friday, April 26, 2013 8:00 PM

National Symphony Orchestra

Take your musical appreciation to the next level with this new NSO initiative that's half concert, half multimedia educational experience. Conductor Jaap van Zweden explores Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

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Ever wondered what inspired the creation of a great work of art? Beyond the Score(r) takes you into the heart of the music to find its inspiration. Beyond the Score(r) begins with a multimedia examination of the symphony, weaving together historical narrative with live actors, visual illustrations, and musical examples played by the National Symphony Orchestra to reveal the illuminating stories found "inside" the score. After discovering its context in history, how it fits into the composer's output of works, and the details of a composer's life that influenced its creation, concertgoers return to the hall after intermission with newly discovered knowledge to hear a performance of the work played in its entirety.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 – Pure Melodrama?
The most shattering personal crisis of Tchaikovsky's life--his ill-conceived marriage to a young student in 1877--coincided with one of the greatest periods of his composing career. Over a mere two years, he poured out a stream of masterpieces, culminating in his Fourth Symphony, a 19th-century Russian music drama to rival the great literary dramas of Pushkin and Tolstoy. In an eruption of purely orchestral sound, Tchaikovsky makes instruments speak with the theatrical vividness of characters in a play or a novel. The result is a flawless work, and at the same time a portrait of a society in ferment and the loneliness of individuals struggling to comprehend historical events that swirl around them. The young Russian knew he had achieved something extraordinary, calling his symphony "better than anything I've done so far."

Beyond the Score is produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Gerard McBurney, Creative Director; Martha Gilmer, Executive Producer.

Performance Timing: Part One - 60 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 44 min.

Featured Artists

Jaap van Zweden Jaap van Zweden