6abc Loves the Arts: Philadelphia Orchestra's Paris Festival

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Pack your bags because the Philadelphia Orchestra is taking audiences on a musical journey to Europe. (WPVI)

Pack your bags because the Philadelphia Orchestra is taking audiences on a musical journey to Europe.

The Paris Festival is a 3 week celebration of composers who lived and worked in the City of Light during the 19th and 20th century.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now in his fifth season as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, will lead the ensemble in the French-themed performances.

"Three wonderful programs that explore all the different levels of music that came out of Paris," is how Jeremy Rothman, the Orchestra's Vice President of Artistic Planning, describes the concert series.

The first performance kicks off January 12th featuring internationally renowned Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham singing selections from Songs of the Auvergne (Chants d'Auvergne).

"These are beautifully lyric love songs in an ancient French language that are going to be a real delight," promises Rothman who says the second concert, January 19th, will explore the iconic sounds of Chopin, "Louis Lortie, an incredible pianist, is going to perform Chopin's 1st piano concerto."

In the second half of that program, the orchestra will play one of Stravinsky's classic ballet scores.

"Petrushka suite is incredibly vibrant and colorful and wonderful sound effects," says Rothman, "plus the entire ensemble coming together in a great climax towards the end of that suite."

The festival wraps up January 26th with music inspired by different European cultures, with the first half of the program featuring Hector Berlioz's Harold in Italy, inspired by Lord Byron's poetry.

"It's very bucolic sounding," says Rothman, "infused with what we think of as Spanish rhythms and guitar sounds."

He says the program was crafted to create, "a journey throughout the greater European region through these wonderful French voices."

For tickets and show times for The Philadelphia Orchestra's Paris Festival, visit www.TheArtsinPhilly.org.
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