Utah Symphony continues its Nielsen cycle

First Published      Last Updated Apr 17 2015 05:07 pm

The Utah Symphony continues its seasonlong presentation of the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen. This week brings Symphony No. 3, nicknamed "Sinfonia espansiva."

"The Third is a very special symphony to me," said music director Thierry Fischer. "[Nielsen] was incredibly sad and totally depressed. … He was putting his sadness in writing, and this is the first time you have this depth [from him]." Fischer said a highlight for concertgoers will be the symphony's second movement, in which soprano Melissa Heath and baritone Shea Owens will sing wordless melodies. "I like to believe that the two singers represent Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden," he said. "It says a lot about the element of the human voice."

Also on the program is Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 — the only piano concerto Beethoven wrote in a minor key. The renowned Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam is the soloist. "He's a great artist, especially in the Classical repertoire," Fischer said.

The conductor joked that he will continue his Haydn symphony cycle this week with the fourth of the composer's 100-plus symphonies. The overture to Mozart's final opera, "The Magic Flute," rounds out the bill.

When • Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, 8 p.m.

Where • Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $18 to $55 at www.utahsymphony.org

Learn more • Fischer and Nielsen scholar Mogens Mogensen will chat about the music with Utah Symphony VP Toby Tolokan onstage at 7 each night.

Master class • Brautigam will teach a master class onstage at Abravanel Hall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. The class, featuring advanced Utah Symphony Youth Guild members playing for Brautigam, is free and open to the public, but seating onstage is limited. Register at www.usuoeducation.org/index.php/adults/masterclasses.

Cadenza • Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's social networking group for older listeners presents its first event of the season on Friday. Join the group for dinner (around $30) and then sit together at the concert. Concert tickets are $35, or $146 for a seven-concert package; call 801-533-NOTE (6683) for information.