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Star Power: Misha Plays Liszt

October 2018


   8:00 pm Friday, October 12, 2018 | 7:00 pm Take Note with Eric Street     
   8:00 pm Saturday, October 13, 2018 | 7:00 pm Take Note with Eric Street   

Sundae Classics on October 14 features Bernstein and Brahms. CONCERT PAGE

Dance Episodes from On the Town 

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2




With the approach of winter, the air outside starts to take on a chill. But inside the Mead Theatre, the climate will fairly burst with warmth and joy. This October we welcome music from three of the most creative musical minds of all time.

Maestro Gittleman opens the program by taking us to the streets of an idealized New York City in wartime 1944. The musical On The Town has its roots in the ballet Fancy Free, choreographed by Jerome Robbins to Leonard Bernstein's score. Then Lenny, America's newly minted heartthrob composer/conductor, chanced upon his Broadway friends Betty Comden and Adolphe Greene in Hollywood. Why not expand the music from Fancy Free into a big musical and take Broadway by storm? They did, and 462 performances later it sparked a legacy of great singable, danceable tunes, not to mention a hit film. The dance music (extracted from the original musical) performed on this program captures the spirit, romance and joy of "New York, New York, what a wonderful town..."

Then we move to a work of pianistic lightning, performed by a seasoned master of his craft.

The out-and-out flamboyance of Franz Liszt's first Piano Concerto can obscure its innovative structure. When portrayed well, it seems as though the whole piece is improvised on the spot. Such is not the case. It is carefully calculated to be a dazzling exhibition of concerto dialogue as the piano confronts, battles, capitulates, and exhorts, all the while confronting the orchestra that, nonetheless, stands up to the onslaught as a willing partner. This is no delicate, polite parlor conversation; it truly emanates from the Romantic world.

Liszt was the rock star of his era, and we have a rock star of our own for this work. Misha Dichter's family fled Europe during World War II and arrived in California when he was two. Just three years later, he started piano study. Over time, Misha has virtually defined the role of piano virtuoso, playing works of wide scope from almost all the major composers and with almost every major orchestra. He has recorded with principal labels such as RCA and Philips. His recordings of the complete Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Liszt Piano Concertos helped set the standard for other performers worldwide.

After finally completing his first symphony, with performances that generated enthusiastic critical acclaim, Johannes Brahms quickly followed suit with his second work in the genre. Written over the course of one summer in 1877 (his first took 14 years), his Symphony No. 2 is another one that marches down the halls of time as one of the greats. It is full and rich, lyrical and sunny, and features a profusion of memorable melodies. Before the debut performance, the subversive Brahms taunted his friends, saying that the orchestra should play it with black crepe on their sleeves and the score should be printed with a black border. Hardly!

Its obvious exuberance is a fitting climax for a program that expresses the joy of place and time, the joy of expression and the joy of just being alive.

Masterworks Series sponsored by Premier Health 


DP&L Foundation DPAA Innovation Partner – Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts
Bob Ross Auto Group
Official Automobile Dealership of the DPO
DataYard Official Data Provider of the DPO
Marriott University of Dayton Official Hotel of the DPO
One Call Now DPAA Communications Partner
ThinkTV and Discover Classical 88.1 and 89.9 FM Masterworks Series Media Partners  
Booz Allen Hamilton Presenting Sponsor, Military Appreciation Program 

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