Michael Tilson Thomas Leads Renée Fleming And The San Francisco Symphony In World Premiere Of New Arrangement Of Debussy’s C’est L’extase (Settings Of Paul Verlaine) By Robin Holloway January 10, 12 And 13 At Davies Symphony Hall

Fleming also performs duo recital with Susan Graham on January 16

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas   (MTT) leads the San Francisco  (SFS) and soprano Renée Fleming  in the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s arrangement, commissioned by the SFS, of Debussy’s C’est l’extase.  Fleming also performs selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, and the Orchestra performs Debussy’s Jeux, La Plus que lente, and La Mer. Fleming returns to Davies Symphony Hall on January 16 to perform a duo recital of works by Chausson, Debussy, and Fauré with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Bradley Moore.

C’est l’extase is a new orchestration by Robin Holloway of Debussy’s settings of the poems of Paul Verlaine; the cycle includes the six Debussy titled Ariettes oubliées. An SFS commission, the work receives its world premiere in these performances. Previously, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas have commissioned and premiered three works by composer Robin Holloway, including Clarissa Sequence (1998), the Fourth Concerto for Orchestra (2007), and 2004’s En blanc et noir, an orchestration of a Debussy work for two pianos that the Orchestra performed on tour in the US and Europe. Holloway taught music at Cambridge University for 32 years, and his students included Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.

Photo courtesty of Decca/Andrew Eccles

One of the foremost sopranos of her time, Renée Fleming has appeared in all of the major opera houses around the world. In 2012, she was named Singer of the Year by Germany’s Echo awards, and sang at the inaugural concert for President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial. On December 5, she was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album Poèmes, released in March 2012.  Featuring music by Dutilleux, Ravel, and Messiaen, the album was recorded with Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France and Seiji Ozawa and the Orchestre National de France.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is featured on SFS Media’s 2010 release Mahler Songs with Orchestra, singing selections from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder.  In October 2012, Graham released her first solo album since 2008, a compilation on Onyx titled Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, featuring music by Purcell, Berlioz, and Poulenc, among others. This duo recital with Fleming, part of a month-long tour, is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-2013 season.


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