Classical 91.5

Michael Tilson Thomas

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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.

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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?

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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.

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