It’s a night of sweeping emotion as triumph reigns over tragedy, when Pacific Symphony dives into the power and melodic mastery of “Tchaikovsky’s Fifth” for the first Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series concert of the New Year. Led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, the Symphony unveils the rigorous emotional journey that Tchaikovsky imparted in his Fifth Symphony, overcoming his inner struggles through the music. Although the strained relationship with his music critics caused Tchaikovsky to proclaim the work a failure, it is now one of the most beloved symphonies in the repertoire. The concert takes place Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 12-14, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall; a preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m.Also on the program, Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic returns (after performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in May 2010) to play Chopin’s instantly recognizable and achingly beautiful Piano Concerto No. 2. Chopin, who wrote the piece when he was just 19, delicately interweaves melodies with poetic detail to express the thrill of being in love. The concert opens with a new work by Osvaldo Golijov, inspired by a tide-changing book by Galileo and commissioned by a consortium of 36 orchestras to honor the retirement of Henry Fogel, past president of the League of American Orchestras. “The first time I heard Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, it was being conducted by my future mentor Leonard Bernstein,” says Maestro St.Clair. “I was watching it on a 1948 black Westinghouse television set that my dad bought when he got back from World War II, and even on this small black and white TV, the symphony made quite an impression on me. I now consider Tchaikovsky a great teacher, and when I conduct this piece, I hope to rediscover the depth of interpretation that I felt that evening.”
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