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National Philharmonic: Brian Ganz, Richard Stoltzman and Debussy
Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM
Music Center at Strathmore

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Group Tickets Call (301) 581-5199
Accessible Seating Call (301) 581-5100

Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Brian Ganz, piano
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet

In 1892, Debussy began a sensual and luminous composition inspired by a pastoral poem, L'Après-midi d'un faune ( The Afternoon of a Faun), published 16 years earlier by the great Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé. The famous opening flute solo "brought new breath to the art of music," said composer and conductor Pierre Boulez.

Acclaimed pianist Brian Ganz performs the vibrant Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra (1890). Two-time Grammy Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman plays Debussy's dreamy and melodic Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra. Debussy, who loved the sea, never traveled farther on it than across the English Channel. In La Mer, however, his passion for the ocean is paramount, as his orchestral music gives forth its aura with subtle impressions and exquisite details.

This concert will run approximately 120 minutes with intermission.


Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra
Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra
La Mer

The National Philharmonic celebrates the music of Claude Debussy in this festival marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important French composers. Debussy's works, like those of Impressionist painters, emphasize light and color and display the influence of the Symbolist poets' visionary images. The festival includes performances of Debussy's most popular orchestral, chamber and keyboard works as well as a Washington-area premiere of his magnificent large choral work, The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian.

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