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Philadelphia: Denève kicks off year-long Connesson project

October 26

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Philadelphia Orchestra principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève kicks off a year-long exploration of works by his fellow Frenchman Guillaume Connesson. Maslenitsa is inspired by a pre-Lenten Russian festival rather like Mardi Gras. Gil Shaham joins the program for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Tchaikovsky’s Suite from The Sleeping Beauty complete the program Oct. 26-28.

Connesson writes that his work begins with a whirlwind of festive themes followed by a meditative section similar to a Russian Orthodox chorale, concluding with more pre-Lenten celebrating in the spirit of Russian folklore: “It is an ancient Russia dreamed by a Frenchman, a mixing picture exuberant joy and suffering, a tribute to this country and to this music that I love.”  (Photo by Benjamin Morris via Wiki)