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The title of Gabriela Ortiz’s Kauyumari refers to a magical blue deer, sacred to the Huichol people of Mexico, which she invokes to reflect on our grateful return to post-pandemic live performance. In the one-movement concerto Odisea, commissioned by Gustavo Dudamel for Jorge Glem, Venezuelan composer Gonzalo Grau highlights his country’s national instrument, the versatile, four-stringed cuatro. On the surface Johannes Brahms’s Second Symphony seems like a sunny summer idyll, but shadows abound.
Gustavo Dudamel ’s appearance is supported by the Louise M. Davies Guest Conductor Fund.
At a Glance
Gonzalo Grau’s Odisea spotlights the cuatro, a relative of the guitar that is the national instrument of his native Venezuela. The concerto imagines a trip from the east coast of Venezuela into its center, referencing the hometowns of soloist Jorge Glem and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and drawing from the diverse musical traditions of Venezuela.
Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 is almost invariably described as “sunny,” and it was written quickly and easily after he toiled for decades over his First Symphony. From the first three notes, Brahms generates a miraculously varied first movement. The second movement’s stern opening changes almost immediately into a glorious melody of enormous length and breadth. The Allegretto grazioso that follows is Brahms at his most lighthearted, and the finale makes for a heroic transformation.
Enrich Your Experience
- Friday, November 24 from 6:30pm–7:00pm: A pre-concert talk with cuatro player Jorge Glem and composer Gonzalo Grau moderated by Martha Rodríguez-Salazar will be presented from the stage one hour before the concert. Free to all ticketholders.