The “Gran Partita” is a form of music known as Harmoniemusik. Written for twelve wind instruments and double bass, the serenade showcased many of the orchestra’s incomparable wind players. The third movement Adagio was a particularly fine example of flawless, gorgeous sound exhibited by the interplay between oboe and clarinet. After an enthusiastic audience response, the ensemble performed an encore by repeating part of the Finale.
The seven movement serenade was followed after intermission by the Brahms symphony. Angela Zator Nelson performed the driving beat on timpani in the first movement and first associate concertmaster Juliette Kang performed the violin solo in the second.
After conducting the symphony from memory, Maestro Blomstedt moved through the orchestra, shaking hands with individual players. The orchestra then honored him by remaining seated while he took a solo bow. This concert marked the conductor’s fifth subscription appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra.