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Kansas City Symphony Presents Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto
January 28 - January 30
Richard Strauss’s meditation on mortality, Death and Transfiguration lifts the curtain on this concert. Despite the title, this is not music of grief, but uplifting serenity.
The dazzling virtuoso Vadim Gluzman returns to the KCS as soloist in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. The slow movement is shimmeringly beautiful; but there is also restlessness and lament in the concerto, reflecting the uncertainty of the 1930’s when it was written.
But the call for justice is the heart of this program, in the works by Beethoven and Joel Thompson. Leonore Overture No. 3, originally composed for Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, recounts Leonore’s loyalty and love as she works to free her unjustly imprisoned husband. Thompson is an eloquent new American voice in the conversation around social justice and equity. His new work was inspired by various texts by James Baldwin which form the narration for the work: “The future of this world … depends on to what extent and by what means we liberate ourselves from a vocabulary which now cannot bear the weight of reality.”
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