Classical 91.5

Michael Tilson Thomas

We don’t often think of Felix Mendelssohn as a composer of stage works, but from (age 10) 1820 to 1847 he actually composed a number of musical settings for dramatic works, one of which is the Overture to Ruy Blas that we will hear in the 9/15 broadcast of the San Francisco Symphony. The five-act historical drama by Victor Hugo is long, dark and convoluted, but the administrators for the Leipzig Theatrical Pension Fund were committed to presenting the work for a benefit concert and they asked Mendelssohn to write an Overture and vocal piece for the event.

What happens when a composer reaches his or her 9th Symphony.  We'll find out this month when Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Mahler's 9th (7/14) and Beethoven's 9th (7/28).  Has your time come?

Conductor and composer Michael Tilson Thomas talks about his 2019 song cycle Meditations on Rilke in this video.  He says the themes of the work, which is a setting of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, are almost as old as Thomas himself. We'll hear the work on the June 17th broadcast.

4/2          Haydn: Symphony No. 69, Laudon Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 (Michael Tilson Thomas, cond)