Insights from the Maestro: Romeo & Juliet

By: Philip Mann, conductor, ASO

Music is uniquely capable of presenting mood, character, and situation, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is a masterpiece of this musical painting. We will hear a portrait of The Young Juliet, a dissonant presentation of Montagues and Capulets, the magical Balcony Scene, and of course, the tragic Death of Juliet.

Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances are a moody and incredibly melodic demonstration of the composer's skills in orchestration and program (a compositional technique in which the music serves to tell a story). The melodic material is drawn from Rachmaninoff's obsession with the liturgical Dies irae (Day of Wrath). This dark exploration of death culminates with a furious conflict between the Dies irae theme and a traditional Russian religious chant, and the triumphant rendition of the Allilyua theme from an earlier Rachmaninoff choral work.

Adding a quirky and amusing overture from Kabalevsky, we have a program which connects themes of love, fate, death, humor, and optimism. The fantastic musicians of your ASO are the stars of this program, and I cannot wait to experience it with you.

– Maestro Philip Mann, ASO Music Director and Conductor


Insights from the Maestro