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Past and present collide in this performance of contemporary works and classical masterpieces. Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, Anthem for Unity for Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Piotr Gajewski brings the lushness of a full ensemble to Coleman’s original work composed for chamber ensemble. Violinist Melissa White, a NatPhil favorite, returns to perform Florence Price’s sweeping, melodic Violin Concerto No. 2.
The second half of the program unites Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers with its inspiration. “Using the beautifully fluid harmonic structure of the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony,” Simon explained, “I have composed musical gestures that are representative of the unpredictable ways of fate. Jolting stabs, coupled with an agitated groove with every persona. Frenzied arpeggios in the strings that morph into an ambiguous cloud of free-flowing running passages depicts the uncertainty of life that hoovers over us.”
To contextualize Simon’s piece, is Beethoven’s ebullient, optimistic Symphony No. 7, showing not only his, but the works of Coleman and Price, sit comfortably at home alongside one of the most famous and popular symphonies in the history of classical music.
Valerie Coleman, Umoja, Anthem of Unity
Florence Price, Violin Concerto No. 2
Carlos Simon, Fate Now Conquers
Beethoven, Symphony No. 7, Op. 92, A Major
I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace
IV. Allegro con brio
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