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THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED IN PART
BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT
FOR THE ARTS
To honor the memory of beloved conductor Michael Morgan, the San Francisco Symphony presents a program conceived by Morgan, who was originally slated to conduct these performances. Conductors Earl Lee, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, and Akiko Fujimoto join forces to lead this program full of hope, faith, and redemption, featuring mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson and the SF Symphony Chorus.
At A Glance
“This concert has a couple of threads running through it. First of all, it’s about religion and spirituality, particularly American (although all the pieces are not American because the ideas are, if not universal, certainly global).
“Carlos Simon’s Amen! is basically a Black Pentecostal church service in orchestra form. It’s the church Carlos grew up in.
“While Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 is not a religious piece, per se, she was a deeply religious person whose spirituality can be heard through all of her pieces. Within the piece you can hear music that evokes Black spiritual and secular music from her time and before.
“The text of [Johannes Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody] is about the search for deeper meaning on the part of the protagonist. It is a very spiritual piece.
“I asked my friend Jack Perla to arrange three pieces from the American spiritual tradition. ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’ is a hymn by an Englishman that has been adopted into the American church tradition. ‘My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord’ is a traditional spiritual famously arranged by Florence Price. ‘Give Me Jesus’ is an American spiritual song that was adopted and adapted by African Americans and transformed into the spiritual we know today.
“The final piece on the program, César Franck’s Le Chasseur maudit is the other side of the religious coin. In it, the protagonist decides to go hunting on the Sabbath, but the hunter becomes the hunted as he is chased by demons for all times for his sacrilege.”
For more information, including full program notes, visit the San Francisco Symphony’s digital program book platform at sfsymphony.encoreplus.app or text “SFS Concert” to 55741.
Off-The-Podium: A post-concert audience Q&A session with moderator Bill Doggett will be presented from the stage immediately following the concert on February 18. Free to all ticket holders.