Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony in a program of works by Beethoven, as well as a new work commissioned for the SFS from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams. The concert culminates in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. One of the composer's more rarely performed symphonies, the 4th is a bright and tuneful work full of memorable melodies. Commissioned to mark the SFS's hundredth anniversary, Adams' Absolute Jest
made its premiere in 2012. It's packed with clever allusions to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and late string quartets, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet makes a guest appearance. Another guest, tenor Michael Fabiano, sings Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte
(To the distant beloved
), the first song cycle ever written. Beethoven's Three Equali for Four Trombones open the show.
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