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Symphony Parnassus will perform dramatic music from the 19th and 20th centuries

Cellist Oliver Herbert
courtesy of Symphony Parnassus

The third concert of the 2013–14 season of Symphony Parnassus, conducted by Music Director Stephen Paulson, will take a particularly dramatic approach to the traditional overture-concerto-symphony form. The soloist will be the young cellist Oliver Herbert. His selection will not be, strictly speaking, a concerto. Rather, he will perform the solo part in Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo,” which the composer called a “Hebraic rhapsody.” The title is the Hebrew name for Solomon, whose voice is depicted by the cello part. However, this is neither the Solomon whose wisdom is celebrated nor the royal successor to David. Rather, the music is a study of the despairing book of Ecclesiastes.

“Schelomo” is often regarded as Bloch’s intense view of his own Jewish identity, an exercise he pursued in several other composition. The result is darkly dramatic and will be matched by the compositions that both precede and follow it. The overture will be Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides” (also known as “Fingal’s Cave”), named for an archipelago off the west coast of Scotland and portraying the forbidding seas that surround it. The symphony will be Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 67 in C minor, his fifth symphony often taken as an icon of his most dramatic rhetoric.

This concert will take place on Sunday, April 13, in the Kanbar Hall at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (3200 California Street, on the northwest corner of Presidio Avenue) at 3 p.m. (providing yet another alternative for that busy day). Single tickets are $25 for general admission, with $21 tickets available for seniors and students with ID. Tickets can be purchased online through a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Further information may be obtained from the Symphony Parnassus Web site or by calling 415-409-6411.

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