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Emmanuel Ax plays Beethoven in San Diego this November

Payare and SD Symphony bring Wagner, Liszt, Brahms to Escondido

Ax has been a Sony Classics recording artist since 1987.
Ax has been a Sony Classics recording artist since 1987.

October is coming to an end and it has been a solid month for classical music in San Diego. November is looking even better.

There are a few concerts in November that shouldn’t be missed even if you’re a casual classical music fan. The first performances are on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13 at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Pianist superstar Emmanuel Ax will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classics recording artist since 1987. That’s 35 years of documented mastery. Conducting the performances is San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare.

Payare, whose conducting produces enough power to supply a small to midsized town, will also be conducting Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12: The Year 1017. The twelfth holds a unique spot within Shostakovich's symphonic pantheon.

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Shostakovich, Symph No 12 '1917' in D minor op 112

Directed by Valery Gergiev Orq Mariinsky theatre

Directed by Valery Gergiev Orq Mariinsky theatre

It premiered in 1961. Shostakovich became a member of The Communist Party in 1960 during the “Kruschev Thaw” following the death of Stalin. This symphony was viewed by The West as Shostakovich bowing to officialdom. 60 years later many of us have forgotten the pressures of The Cold War and the music comes to us free of the program that Shostakovich wrote it with. That program was a musical essay of Vladimir Lenin’s life.

The next concerts are on Thursday, November 17, and Friday, November 18. The Thursday concert is at The Shell while the Friday concert is at The California Center for the Arts Escondido. For me, the drive to Escondido is well worth the indoor setting.

The repertoire for these concerts is stellar. Payare conducts again and I can’t wait to hear how he treats the Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. In all seriousness, this might be the classical music event of the entire year. Hearing Payare's take on Wagner will be great theater.

Also on the concert are Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 1. This is good programming. Liszt was a champion of Wagner and Brahms was a bitter rival of Wagner. There were times when Liszt extended a peace offering to Brahms even though Wagner was married to Lizst’s daughter Cosima. Having Liszt’s piano concerto bridging the gap between the two titans of the Romantic Era makes good sense.

The final November concert of interest is the legendary Vienna Boys Choir on Saturday, November 19 at The Balboa Theatre. The choir will perform traditional Austrian songs, classical masterpieces, and even some holiday favorites.

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Ax has been a Sony Classics recording artist since 1987.
Ax has been a Sony Classics recording artist since 1987.

October is coming to an end and it has been a solid month for classical music in San Diego. November is looking even better.

There are a few concerts in November that shouldn’t be missed even if you’re a casual classical music fan. The first performances are on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13 at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Pianist superstar Emmanuel Ax will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classics recording artist since 1987. That’s 35 years of documented mastery. Conducting the performances is San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare.

Payare, whose conducting produces enough power to supply a small to midsized town, will also be conducting Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12: The Year 1017. The twelfth holds a unique spot within Shostakovich's symphonic pantheon.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Video:

Shostakovich, Symph No 12 '1917' in D minor op 112

Directed by Valery Gergiev Orq Mariinsky theatre

Directed by Valery Gergiev Orq Mariinsky theatre

It premiered in 1961. Shostakovich became a member of The Communist Party in 1960 during the “Kruschev Thaw” following the death of Stalin. This symphony was viewed by The West as Shostakovich bowing to officialdom. 60 years later many of us have forgotten the pressures of The Cold War and the music comes to us free of the program that Shostakovich wrote it with. That program was a musical essay of Vladimir Lenin’s life.

The next concerts are on Thursday, November 17, and Friday, November 18. The Thursday concert is at The Shell while the Friday concert is at The California Center for the Arts Escondido. For me, the drive to Escondido is well worth the indoor setting.

The repertoire for these concerts is stellar. Payare conducts again and I can’t wait to hear how he treats the Prelude and Liebestod from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. In all seriousness, this might be the classical music event of the entire year. Hearing Payare's take on Wagner will be great theater.

Also on the concert are Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 1. This is good programming. Liszt was a champion of Wagner and Brahms was a bitter rival of Wagner. There were times when Liszt extended a peace offering to Brahms even though Wagner was married to Lizst’s daughter Cosima. Having Liszt’s piano concerto bridging the gap between the two titans of the Romantic Era makes good sense.

The final November concert of interest is the legendary Vienna Boys Choir on Saturday, November 19 at The Balboa Theatre. The choir will perform traditional Austrian songs, classical masterpieces, and even some holiday favorites.

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