Beethoven, Bartók and Tchaikovsky at the BSO

For his second program of 2014-15, Andris Nelsons leads three great works reflecting his lifelong immersion in the world of symphonic repertoire-works that also demonstrate the commanding stylistic range of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, premiered in 1814, is as consistently high-spirited and jolly as anything the composer ever wrote. The contrastingly aggressive and lurid Suite from Bartók's 1918 ballet score The Miraculous Mandarin captures the urban tension of post-World War I Europe. Tchaikovsky's final work, the Pathétique Symphony, is noteworthy for its melodic warmth and the composer's intricate, magical orchestrations. Premiered shortly before his death, the Sixth ends unusually, and emotionally powerfully, with a slow, mournful movement rather than a triumphant finale.

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