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The Head and the Heart

  • Libby Gardner Concert Hall 1375 Presidents Circle Salt Lake City, UT, 84112 United States (map)

The first half of this program features works inspired by cerebral concepts: Unsuk Chin’s blazing Fantaisie mécanique, Bach's Chaconne arranged for four cellos, and György Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto, conducted by Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer. The season concludes with a thrilling performance of Mendelssohn’s heartfelt Octet for Strings, led by NOVA Music Director Madeline Adkins.

Unsuk Chin: Fantaisie mécanique
Johannes Sebastian Bach, arr. Varga: Chaconne
György Ligeti: Chamber Concerto
Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, op. 20

Get More Out of Your Experience

Join us before each concert at 2:30pm to participate in a discussion about the music with Jeff Counts, Vice President of Operations & General Manager of the Utah Symphony. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the program and increase your enjoyment of the music you'll hear.

About the Music

Chamber Concerto
György Ligeti (1923-2006)
composed 1970. first performance: 5 April 1970, Baltimore. Ensemble “die reihe”. Friedrich Cerha, conductor.
flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, trumpet, trombone, harpsichord, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass

I. Corrente (Fließend)
II. Calmo, sostenuto
III. Movimento preciso e mecanico
IV. Presto

Fantaisie mécanique
Unsuk Chin (b. 1961)
composed 1994. first performance: 2 December 1994, Paris. Ensemble Intercontemporain.
trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion, piano

I – variation, presto con brio
II – variation, prestissimo
III – variation, fließend
Aria with intervals of a forth – andante, scherzo delicatezza, precipitoso
Little study for keyboards – allegro con leggierezza, allegro con moto
Episode with metallic elements – andante sussurando
Improvisation on seven metres

Fantaisie mécanique – scored for trumpet, trombone, piano and percussion – is as the title suggests, a union of two contradictory concepts: improvisation and predetermined structure. Whilst giving the illusion of free expression, the work actually adheres to the strictest virtuosity and ensemble playing of the performers. The Intrada is based on a group of four low-pitched sounds, which act as a central core to the work, constituting a "hidden" chromatic current that animates the work throughout. Each subsequent musical idea contains, like the Intrada, mechanically constructed figures whose development is also "mechanical", onto which is grafted a polyphony formed of anything up to eight parts. At the same time, in the final Improvisation the seven metres utilised during the course of the work, combine to form a polyrhythm.

— Unsuk Chin

Octet, op. 20
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
composed 1825. first performance: 30 January 1836, Gewandhaus, Leipzig.
4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos

I. Allegro moderato, ma con fuoco
II. Andante
III. Scherzo
IV. Presto


Earlier Event: April 28
Parallel Worlds
Later Event: September 15
Night Music