Three American works highlight the orchestra's winter concert. With its lush harmonies and soaring melodies, Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2 is one of the most exquisitely expressive works in the American orchestral repertoire. Written in 1930 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the symphony has been subtitled "Romantic" because of its lush harmonies and soaring melodies. The music was used in the closing credits of the movie Alien and John Williams used the work as a model for his music to the film E.T.
Hanson's Symphony presented alongside Samuel Barber's searing and dramatic musical portrayal of Medea, one the saddest and most vengeful characters of Greek Mythology.
The story of Medea is drawn from ancient Mythology, and was the foundation for the Euripides play first staged in 431BC that is a cornerstone of all Greek Tragedy. As one of the saddest and most dramatically shocking stories os all time, the legend has been reinterpreted by artists, poets, writers, actors and musicians for centuries. Samuel Barber's music is filled with pathos and longing, ending with a wicked dance that is both exhilarating and tragic.
Also on the program is a newly commissioned work created for the Seattle Youth Symphony by SYSO alumni Brendan McMullen. The piece, entitled "Harbor Locks" is a nostalgic musical evocation of the Pacific Northwest, particularly the endless ebb and flow of traffic through Seattle's historic Chittenden Locks in Ballard.