Program Notes

Each week, thousands of San Francisco Symphony concert-goers open their programs to read about the drama, the passion, and the inspiration behind the music they’re hearing. You can read our critically acclaimed program notes online one week prior to select concerts. 

ADAMS: Absolute Jest

ADÈS:  Scenes from The Tempest

ADÈS:  Three Studies from Couperin

AHO: Minea - Concertante Music for Orchestra

ANTHEIL:  A Jazz Symphony

BACH, C.P.E.: Cello Concerto in A major, Wq 172 (H.439)

BACH, C.P.E.: Symphony in G major, Wq 183,4 (H.666)

BACH, J.S..:  Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1053  │  Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052

BACH, J.S.:  Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

BACH, J.S.:  Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor BWV 1041  │  Concerto in D minor for oboe and violin, BWV 1060

BACH, J.S.: Brandenburg Concertos 
No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047
No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051

BACH, J.S.: Cantata, Auf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten, BWV 207a

BACH, J.S.: Cantata, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51

BACH, J.S.: Concerto No. 3 for Two Violins, Strings, and Continuo, BWV 1043

BACH, J.S.: Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in D major, BWV 1054

Bach, J.S.: Orchestral Suite No. 4, BWV 1069

BACH, J.S.:  Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1053  │  Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052

BACH, J.S.: Missa

Barbary Coast and Beyond: Music from the Gold Rush to the Panama-Pacific Exposition

BARBER:  Adagio for Strings, Opus 11

BARBER:  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 14

BARTÓK:  Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Opus 11

BARTÓK:  Suite from The Wooden Prince: A Dancing-Play in One Act by Béla Balázs, Opus 13 (ed. Peter Bartok and Nelson O. Dellamaggiore)

BARTÓK: Violin Concerto No. 2

BARTÓK:  Concerto No. 3 in E major for Piano and Orchestra

BARTÓK:  The Miraculous Mandarin, Opus 19

BATES:  Alternative Energy

BATES: Liquid Interface for Orchestra and Electronica

BATES: The B-Sides: Five Pieces for Orchestra and Electronica

BEETHOVEN:  Cantata on the Death of the Emperor Joseph II

BEETHOVEN:  Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 61

BEETHOVEN:  Leonore Overture No. 3, Opus 72a

BEETHOVEN:  Missa solemnis in D major, Opus 123

BEETHOVEN:  Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Opus 19

BEETHOVEN:  Sonatina for Mandolin and Fortepiano

BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 2 in D major

BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Opus 55, Eroica

BEETHOVEN: Concerto No. 5 in E‑flat major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 73, Emperor

BEETHOVEN: Overture to King Stephen, Opus 117 │ Mass in C major, Opus 86

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Opus 15

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125

BEETHOVEN: Three Equali for Four Trombones, WoO 30  │  An die ferne Geliebte, Opus 98   │  Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Opus 60

BEETHOVEN:  Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 37 

BEETHOVEN:  Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 58

BEETHOVEN:  Romance in G major, Opus 40  │  Romance in F major, Opus 50  │  Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92

BEETHOVEN: Adelaide

BERLIOZ:  Scenes from Roméo et Juliette, Opus 17

BERLIOZ:  Roman Carnival Overture, Opus 9 

BERLIOZ:  Symphonie fantastique (Fantastic Symphony: Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts), Opus 14

BERLIOZ:  Te Deum, Opus 22

BERNSTEIN:  West Side Story

BRAHMS:  Concerto in A minor for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra, Opus 102

BRAHMS:  Concerto No. 1 in D minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 15

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Opus 98

BRAHMS:  Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68

BRANT:  Ice Field

BRITTEN:  Double Concerto in B minor for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra

BRITTEN:  Violin Concerto, Opus 15

BRITTEN:  War Requiem, Opus 66

BRITTEN: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes with Video by Tal Rosner

BRITTEN: Peter Grimes, Opus 33

BRITTEN: Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Opus 31

BRITTEN: Simple Symphony for String Orchestra, Opus 4 

BRITTEN: Suite from The Prince of the Pagodas, Opus 57

BRUCH:  Concerto No. 1 in G minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 26

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, Romantic

BRUCKNER:  Symphony No. 7 in E major

CANTELOUBE:  From Chants d’Auvergne (Songs of the Auvergne)

CARTER:  Variations for Orchestra

CHAUSSON:  Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 25

CHOPIN:  Concerto No. 2 in F minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 21

COPLAND: Danzón Cubano

COPLAND:  Appalachian Spring

COPLAND:  Symphonic Ode

COPLAND:  Music from the film Our Town

COWELL:  Music 1957  

DEBUSSY:  Images pour Orchestre

DEBUSSY:  Jeux, Poeme danséC’est l’extase (songs arranged and orchestrated by Robin Holloway) │ La mer

DEBUSSY:  La Plus que lente

DEBUSSY:  Petite Suite

DELIBES:  Cortège de Bacchus, from Sylvia, Suite for Orchestra

DELIUS:  On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

DI CASTRI:  Lineage

DUTILLEUX:  Métaboles

DVOŘÁK : Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 104 

DVOŘÁK:  Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, From the New World

DVOŘÁK: Legend for Orchestra, Opus 59, no.6

DVOŘÁK:  Legends for Orchestra, Opus 59, nos. 2, 6, and 10

DVOŘÁK:  Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Opus 70

DVOŘÁK:  Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Opus 70

ELGAR:  Enigma, Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 36

FAURÉ: Requiem, Opus 48

FAURÉ: Pavane, Opus 50

FEDELE: Scena

FELDMAN:  Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety

FOSS: ". . . then the rocks on the mountain began to shout"—Charles Ives

GERSHWIN:  An American in Paris

GERSHWIN:  Rhapsody in Blue, for Piano and Orchestra

GRIEG, SCHNITTKE, HOLLOWAY: Music for Henrik Ibsen's Dramatic Poem Peer Gynt

GRIEG:  The Last Spring, Opus 34, no.2

HANDEL:  Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day

HANDEL: Water Music Suite No. 3 in G major │ Music for the Royal Fireworks

HANDEL:  Messiah, A Sacred Oratorio

HARRISON:  The Family of the Court, from Pacifika Rondo

HAYDN:  Symphony No. 6 in D major, Le Matin (The Morning)  │  Concerto No. 1 in C major for Cello and Orchestra

HAYDN:  Symphony No. 93 in D major

HERRMANN:  Vertigo

HONEGGER:  Pacific 231 (Mouvement symphonique No. 1)

IVES / BRANT:  The Alcotts, from A Concord Symphony

IVES:  Three Places in New England

KODÁLY:  Galántai Tánkoc (Dances of Galánta)

LALO:  Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 21

LIDHOLM:  Poesis

LIGETI: Concert Românesc (Romanian Concerto) 

LIGETI:  Lux aeterna

LINDBERG:  EXPO

LISZT:  Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra

LISZT:  Concerto No. 2 in A major for Piano and Orchestra

LITOLFF: Scherzo from Concerto symphonique No. 4, Opus 102

LULLY:  Overture and Passacaille, from Armide

LUTOSŁAWSKI:  Concerto for Orchestra

MACKEY:  Eating Greens

MAHLER: Blumine 

MAHLER:  Symphony No. 5 in C‑sharp minor

MAHLER:  Symphony No. 9 in D major 

MAHLER: Symphony No. 3 in D minor

MENDELSSOHN: Concerto in D minor for Violin and String Orchestra

MENDELSSOHN:  Fingal’s Cave Overture, Opus 26  │  Symphony No. 4 in A major, Opus 90, Italian

MENDELSSOHN:  Suite from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opus 61 │ Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Opus 60 

MENDELSSOHN:  Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 11

MENDELSSOHN:  Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Opus 56, Scottish

MENDELSSOHN:  Fingal’s Cave Overture, Opus 26  │  Symphony No. 4 in A major, Opus 90, Italian

MOZART:  Ave verum corpus, K.618  │  Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K.543

MOZART:  Concerto No. 24 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, K.491

MOZART:  Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, K.482 

MOZART:  Divertimento in D major, K.136 (125a)  │  Serenade in D major, K.239, Serenata Notturna

MOZART:  Divertimento in F major for Strings,  K.138(125c)

MOZART: Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio, K.384

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K.467

MOZART: Three Arias from Zaide, K.344(336b)
Introduction | "Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben" | "Tiger! Wetze nur die Klauen"

MOZART:  Concerto No. 25 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, K.503

MOZART:  Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466

Music for Henrik Ibsen's Dramatic Poem Peer Gynt

NIELSEN:  Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Opus 57

NIELSEN:  Symphony No. 5, Opus 50, FS 97

PALESTRINA:  Kyrie, Gloria, and Agnus Dei from Missa Papae Marcelli

PÄRT:  Fratres for Strings and Percussion

PIAZZOLLA: Melodia—Libertango, Two Tangos,arranged for Violin and Orchestra by Jeremy Cohen

POULENC:  Gloria

POULENC:  Stabat Mater

PROKOFIEV:  Concerto No. 2 in G minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 16

PROKOFIEV:  Concerto No. 3 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 26

PROKOFIEV:  Ivan the Terrible, Opus 116, Oratorio after the Film Score, arranged by Levon Atovmyan

PROKOFIEV: Concerto No. 1 in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 19

PROKOFIEV: Concerto No.1 in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 19

PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Opus 10

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 63

PROKOFIEV:  Scenes from Romeo and Juliet

PROKOFIEV:  Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Opus 44

PROKOFIEV:  Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Opus 100

RACHMANINOFF:  Symphonic Dances, Opus 45

RACHMANINOFF: Concerto No. 2 in
C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 18 

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Opus 30

RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 43

RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27

RACHMANINOFF:  “Vocalise,” Opus 34, no.14

RAVEL:  Boléro

RAVEL:  Concerto in D major for the Left Hand for Piano and Orchestra  │  La Valse

RAVEL:  La Valse

RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G major

RAVEL:  Rapsodie espagnole

RESPIGHI:  Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome)  │  Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV:
Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Opus 35

ROSSINI:  Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri

ROSSINI:  OVERTURE TO LA GAZZA LADRA

SAINT-SAËNS:  Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Opus 28

SAMUEL CARL ADAMS:  Drift and Providence

SCHNITTKE: Concerto No. 4 for Violin and Orchestra

SCHOENBERG:  A Survivor from Warsaw for Narrator, Men's Chorus, and Orchestra, Opus 46

SCHUBERT:  Entr’acte No. 3 from Rosamunde, D.797

SCHUBERT:  Symphony in B minor, D. 759, Unfinished  

SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 3 in D major, D.200

SCHUBERT:  Symphony in C major, D.944, The Great

SCHULHOFF: ALLEGRO CON BRIO, FROM SYMPHONY NO. 5

SCHUMANN:  Overture to Byron’s Manfred, Opus 115  │  Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Opus 97, Rhenish

SCHUMANN: Overture to Genoveva, Opus 81  │  Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 54

SCHUMANN:  Concerto in A minor for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 129

SCHUMANN:  Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 54

SCRIABIN:  Rêverie, Opus 24

SHOSTAKOVICH:  Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Opus 93

SHOSTAKOVICH:  Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Opus 103, The Year 1905

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 15 in A major, Opus 141

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Opus 54

SHOSTAKOVICH:  PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1 IN C MINOR, OPUS 35

SIBELIUS:  Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 43

SIBELIUS:  Valse triste, Opus 44

SIBELIUS: Lemminkäinen's Return, Opus 22, no.4

SIBELIUS: Night Ride and Sunrise, Opus 55 │ Symphony No. 6, Opus 104

SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C major, Opus 52

SIBELIUS: Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 47 

STRAUSS, JOHANN, JR.:  By the Beautiful Blue Danube

STRAUSS, R.:  Also sprach Zarathustra

STRAUSS, R.:  An Alpine Symphony, Opus 64 

STRAUSS, R.:  Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra

STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, After the Old Rogue’s Tale, Set in Rondo Form for Large Orchestra, Opus 28

STRAVINSKY: Symphonies of Wind Instruments

STRAVINSKY: Symphony of Psalms

STRAVINSKY:  Agon  │  Violin Concerto in D major  │  The Rite of Spring

STRAVINSKY:  Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra

STRAVINSKY:  Les Noces (The Wedding)  │ Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

STRAVINSKY:  Scherzo à la russe

STUCKY:  Jeu de timbres

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Opus 36 

TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY NO. 6 IN B MINOR, OPUS 74, PATHÉTIQUE

TCHAIKOVSKY:  Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 23

TCHAIKOVSKY:  Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture

TCHAIKOVSKY:  Souvenir de Florence, Opus 70

TCHAIKOVSKY:  Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64 

TRADITIONAL:  Russian Village Wedding Songs

TRADITIONAL:  Works for Gamelan Ensemble

VIVALDI: Concerto in C major for Piccolo, Strings, and Continuo, RV. 443

VIVALDI:  Summer, from The Four Seasons, Opus 8, no.2

VOLKERT: Pandora

WAGNER:  “Die Frist ist um,” from Der fliegende Holländer

WAGNER:  Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin

WAGNER: Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music, from Die Walküre

WAGNER:  Overture to Tannhäuser

WAGNER:  Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde