Mercury Orchestra

Maitres Chanteurs

Liebig company color lithograph card collection, Maîtres Chanteurs (ca. 1882)

WAGNER AND STRAUSS

WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2017 . 7:00 pm

Richard Wagner (arr. Henk de Vlieger)
Meistersinger — An Orchestral Tribute

Richard Strauss
Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, TrV 227d, op. 59

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra performs an outdoor concert of symphonic opera—opera without voices—featuring two of the most opulent and songful scores among the romantic opera literature. Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) illustrates how a newcomer to a small village of great singing traditions can bring new life and change to enhance old ways. Richard Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) explores the many facets of love, loss, and change in the colorful grandeur of mid-eighteenth-century Vienna. Families are welcome to this concert. Hosted by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. The concert will end at approximately 8:45 pm.

Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade
Boston, MA

Free Admission
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Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles

Wassily Kandinsky, Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles (1913)

RACHMANINOFF

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 2017 . 8:00 pm

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 34

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Symphony No. 2, op. 27, in E minor

Channing Yu, conductor
Pianist to be announced

Kresge Auditorium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
W16, 48 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

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Lady with Fan

Gustav Klimt, Lady with Fan (1918)

BERG AND STRAUSS

SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017 . 8:00 pm

Alban Berg
Symphonic Suite from Lulu

Richard Strauss
Zueignung (Devotion), TrV 141, op. 10 no. 1
Morgen (Tomorrow), TrV 170, op. 27, no. 4
Cäcilie (Cecelia), TrV 170, op. 27, no. 2

Richard Strauss
Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, TrV 227d, op. 59

Channing Yu, conductor
Chelsea Basler, soprano

Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Free parking at Broadway Garage

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Skaters near the shore of Kalela (Gallen-Kallela)

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Skaters near the shore of Kalela (1896)

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV,
GRIEG, AND SIBELIUS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2016 . 8:00 pm

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Russian Easter Overture

Edvard Hagerup Grieg
Piano Concerto

Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2

Channing Yu, conductor
Raymond Feng, piano

The Mercury Orchestra evokes the choral traditions of Northern Europe in a program including Rimsky-Korsakov’s brilliant orchestration of Russian Orthodox liturgical themes in his Russian Easter Overture, Edvard Grieg’s deft weaving of Norwegian folk themes into his Piano Concerto, and Jean Sibelius’s triumphant storytelling in his Second Symphony—his self-proclaimed “confession of the soul.” This performance features pianist Raymond Feng, winner of the 2016 Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition.

Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Free parking at Broadway Garage

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Battle on the Ice

A. K. Bystrov, Alexander Nevsky, mosaic in Alexander Nevsky Metro Station, St. Petersburg (1990)

PROKOFIEV AND SHOSTAKOVICH

SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2016 . 8:00 pm

Sergei Prokofiev
Cantata from Alexander Nevsky

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 10

Channing Yu, conductor
Natasha Novitskaia, mezzo-soprano
Mercury Orchestra Chorale

The Mercury Orchestra, national winner of the American Prize for Orchestral Performance, performs two strikingly contrasting pictures of Russian leaders. Prokofiev’s score for the film Alexander Nevsky spectacularly illustrated the victories of the eponymous great Russian medieval folk hero. Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, presented after his second denunciation by the government, is a masterful extension of the symphonic form which encodes references to Stalin and the years of his rule.

Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Free parking at Broadway Garage

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Portrait of Leo Tolstoy as a Ploughman on a Field (Repin)

J & P Schaffer, Set design for Die Zauberflöte (late 18th century)

MOZART, BEETHOVEN, & BRAHMS

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 2015 . 8:00 pm

Wolfgang Amadè Mozart
Overture to Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major

Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 3

Channing Yu, conductor
Howard Tin Pui Tang, piano

The Mercury Orchestra, national winner of the American Prize for Orchestral Performance, performs three striking works by giants of the classical music canon. Don’t miss the opportunity to be surprised once more by the melodic twists and harmonic turns in these hallmarks of each master’s style. This performance features 19-year-old pianist Howard Tin Pui Tang, winner of the 2015 Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition.

First Church of Cambridge
11 Garden St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Ciganyiskola (Valentiny)

János Valentiny, Cigányiskola (1896)

BARTÓK AND RÓZSA

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2015 . 8:00 pm

Miklós Rózsa
Overture to a Symphony Concert, Op. 26a (1963)
Notturno ungherese (Hungarian Nocturne), Op. 28 (1964)
Three Hungarian Sketches, Op. 14 (1938)

Béla Bartók
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 123 (1943)

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra explores works from two very different 20th century Hungarian composers who emigrated to America. Béla Bartók, an avid collector of regional folk songs, was a master creator of sublime and beautiful works for the concert hall and stage. Miklós Rózsa, known principally for his musical scores for classical Hollywood films—including Ben-Hur, Spellbound, and Quo Vadis—has been underappreciated as a serious composer of concert pieces, and the Mercury Orchestra presents three contrasting works of his.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Portrait of Leo Tolstoy as a Ploughman on a Field (Repin)

Ilya Repin, Portrait of Leo Tolstoy as a Ploughman on a Field (1887)

PROKOFIEV, SAINT-SAËNS,
AND TCHAIKOVSKY

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2014 . 8:00 pm

Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No. 1 “Classical”

Camille Saint-Saëns
Piano Concerto No. 2

Piotr Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

Channing Yu, conductor
Victor Xie, piano

Prokofiev’s evanescent neoclassical turns, Saint-Saëns’ romantic era evocations of the baroque, and Tchaikovsky’s emotional, metaphysical exploration of the end of life are next stops on the nationally acclaimed Mercury Orchestra’s journey through musical time. This performance features 16-year-old pianist Victor Xie, winner of the 2014 Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Colorful Flowers (Abstract Forms) (Marc)

Franz Marc, Colorful Flowers (Abstract Forms) (c. 1914)

MAHLER

SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014 . 8:00 pm

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”

Channing Yu, conductor
Anne Harley, soprano
Sarah Rose Taylor, mezzo-soprano

Mercury Orchestra
Mercury Orchestra Chorale

Gustav Mahler’s vision of the symphony entailed “creating a world with all the technical means available.” The Mercury Orchestra joins forces with the Mercury Orchestra Chorale and the internationally acclaimed voices of Anne Harley and Sarah Rose Taylor to present Mahler’s intensely lyrical and spiritual statement in a single performance.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University

45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Daphnis et Chloé (Girard)

Henri Matisse, La danse (second version) (1909-1910)

STRAVINSKY AND RACHMANINOFF

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2013 . 8:00 pm

Igor Stravinsky Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances

Mercury Orchestra
Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra commemorates the 100th anniversary of the wild, chaotic premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, with its relentless irregular driving rhythms, sharp harmonic ambiguities, and magnificent power. Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, his final composition, fuses a similarly adamant kineticism with intensive, poignant, and beautiful lyricism.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Daphnis et Chloé (Girard)

François Pascal Simon Gérard, Daphnis et Chloé (1824)

RAVEL

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012 . 8:00 pm

Ravel Le tombeau de Couperin
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé (complete ballet)

Mercury Orchestra
Mercury Orchestra Chorale

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra celebrates the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Ravel’s magnificent ballet Daphnis et Chloé, a tableau of dazzling orchestral colors depicting the passionate love between the goatherd Daphnis and shepherdess Chloé. The orchestra will present the seldom performed complete ballet version of this work in concert. Le tombeau de Couperin is Ravel’s delightful homage to the graceful beauty of the baroque French Suite form.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Schiele, Agonie (Der Todeskampf) / Agony (The Death Struggle) (1912)

The minnesinger Konrad von Altstetten in the arms of his lady-love and feeding a falcon. Early 14th century Heidelberg Lieder manuscript.

WAGNER, BARTÓK, & BRAHMS

SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2012 . 8:00 pm

Wagner Overture to Tannhäuser
Bartók The Miraculous Mandarin (complete)
Brahms Symphony No. 1 in c minor

Channing Yu, conductor

Members of the Seraphim Singers
Jennifer Lester, conductor

Romanticism struggles against anti-romanticism in the Mercury Orchestra’s next concert of contrasts, from Richard Wagner’s tale of a man’s struggle against his basest desires to attain spiritual redemption, to Béla Bartók’s grotesque, violent story of the supernatural powers of love in the face of malevolence, to Johannes Brahms’s triumphal entrance into the symphonic form. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear The Miraculous Mandarin performed in concert in its uncensored and restored entirety, instead of the more commonly performed abridged Suite.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Schiele, Agonie (Der Todeskampf) / Agony (The Death Struggle) (1912)

Egon Schiele, Agonie (Der Todeskampf) / Agony (The Death Struggle) (1912)

MAHLER

SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2011 . 8:00 pm

Mahler Symphony No. 6

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra presents Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor (“Tragic”), a relentlessly tempestuous yet poignantly beautiful orchestral tour de force.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Somov, Harlequin and Death

Konstantin Somov, Harlequin and Death (1907)

STRAVINSKY AND BERLIOZ

SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2010 . 8:00 pm

Stravinsky Petrushka (1911)
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra presents two highly colorful and evocative showpieces for symphony orchestra: Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Stravinsky’s score for the ballet Petrushka, commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes, uses a tapestry of Russian folk tunes to conjure the brilliant sights and sounds of a local carnival where puppets seem to possess real lives of their own. Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, subtitled “An Episode in the Life of an Artist,” has held audiences under its spell for almost two hundred years, with its vivid exploration of a young man’s obsessive dreams and hallucinations of his beloved. Renowned as one of the cornerstones of Romantic music, the work utilizes the full resources of the symphony orchestra to create a gripping narrative of love, loss, and the macabre.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Die Musik

Gustav Klimt, Die Musik (1895)

MAHLER AND STRAUSS

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009 . 8:00 pm

R. Strauss Don Juan
Mahler Symphony No. 5

Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra presents two of the most beautiful and exhilarating works of the Romantic era: Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Richard Strauss’s Don Juan.

Where his previous symphonies were strongly tied to words of songs, Gustav Mahler sought to break away from a “program” with his Fifth Symphony, preferring to let the music speak for itself. The resulting work is powerful, poignant, brilliant, and immediate, and it is considered by many to represent Mahler’s finest orchestration. With the exception of the well-known, exquisitely tender Adagietto movement, which is scored for harp and strings, Mahler uses a large orchestra to deliver boldness, anguish, passion, and intimacy in this masterwork.

Richard Strauss’s tone poem Don Juan is a virtuosic tour-de-force for orchestra, which evocatively illustrates Don Juan’s incessant quest for new passion.

These two contrasting dramatic works have thrilled both new and seasoned concertgoers for over 100 years; the Mercury Orchestra invites you to experience them both in an exciting live performance.

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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Monet, Shadows on the Sea

Claude Monet, Shadows on the Sea (1882)

RAVEL AND DEBUSSY

SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2008 . 8:00 pm

Ravel La valse (The Waltz)
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Debussy La mer (The Sea)

Albert Kim, piano
Channing Yu, conductor

The Mercury Orchestra, established in 2008, opens its first concert with a colorful program of French impressionist music for symphony orchestra. Maurice Ravel’s witty, nostalgic, lyrical, and sometimes macabre deconstruction of the classical Viennese waltz (La valse) offers a sharp contrast to his sprightly and sublime Piano Concerto in G Major. Claude Debussy’s symphonic portrait La mer evokes three distinct personalities of the sea: De l'aube à midi sur la mer (From dawn until noon on the sea); Jeux de vagues (Play of the waves); Dialogue du vent et de la mer (Dialogue of wind and sea).

Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

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