January 23, 2022; 3:00pm
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2
Emanuel Ax, piano
Stravinsky The Firebird: Suite (1945)
We cannot wait to take the stage of our newly-renovated Warner Theatre this season to celebrate the joy and thrill of making live music for you. We hope to harness some of this enthusiasm in a brilliant opening work by American composer Christopher Rouse. With its kaleidoscopic colors built into a slowly-growing emotional surge, Rouse depicts ‘a progression to an ever more blinding ecstasy.’ World-renown pianist Emmanuel Ax made his Philharmonic debut in 2017. With a newly-delivered Steinway grand piano waiting in the wings, we could think of none other who could best help us reopen the Warner in grand style. Ax has chosen Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a near-perfect combination of rhapsodic romanticism and sinuously-drawn melodies. Chopin’s concerto brims with his youthful creativity, complete with a Viennese waltz and Polish mazurka finale. As for famous finales, Stravinsky’s Firebird certainly ranks among the most memorable, with blazing brass in a hymn-like chorus. This Russian fairytale comes to life on the stage in a score that challenges the mettle of any expert symphonic ensemble, and we intend to rise to the challenge on opening night.
For tickets, call (814) 455-1375 or www.eriephil.org