Midland Symphony Orchestra

Take Two & Mahler 5

Apr. 21, 2018 7:30 PM

Take Two & Mahler 5
Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra ~ 20 minutes    Listen
Christina & Michelle Naughton, piano duo
Mahler Symphony No. 5 ~ 68 minutes    Listen    Listen

Ticket Prices (not including processing fees):
Adult $43.00 / $34.00
Student $15.00

Performance Date:
Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm

• Internationally-acclaimed piano twins Christina and Michelle Naughton join the MSO to perform French composer Poulenc’s Double Piano Concerto.

• The concerto was commissioned by and dedicated to Princess Edmond de Polignac, an American-born heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. She was a philanthropist with a musical salon where her protégés included Debussy, Ravel, and Poulenc. Singer had two unconsummated marriages and openly enjoyed many high-profile relationships with women.

• Poulenc is often called “half monk, half thug,” or better translated as “the monk and degenerate,” referring to his split personalities. He portrayed a sophisticated eccentric, yet had a lewd and inappropriate sense of humor. It also refers to his struggle reconciling his open homosexuality and his commitment to the Roman Catholic Church. His music also displays two very different sides; sometimes deeply profound and moving, sometimes witty and irreverent.

• Twin telepathy is a thing. When the Naughton twins perform, they never look at each other, yet move in tandem, mirroring each other’s every gesture, like one person with two hands is playing.

• The orchestra takes on the classical equivalent to climbing Mount Everest, Mahler’s monumental Fifth Symphony.

• Mahler composed the symphony after meeting and proposing to his wife, Alma, daughter of a famous landscape painter. The symphony’s trajectory from the mourning funeral march to the loving fourth movement of triumph reflects this happy development in the composer’s life.

• The symphony’s third and final part are Mahler’s “greatest hit” and have been most famously performed as a stand-alone piece by Leonard Bernstein at Robert Kennedy’s funeral. The slow movement silences everyone in the orchestra except for the strings and harp, which was a musical love letter to Alma.