Pianists Orion Weiss and Alessio Bax, outstanding members of a new generation of international musical artists, will team up to perform the concerto for two pianos that Mozart originally wrote for his older sister and himself. The instruments vie with each other, 'collaborating, interrupting, arguing,' then unite to suggest 'some transfigured, heavenly barrel-organ.'
Weiss and Bax follow Mozart with Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, also for double piano and surely one of the most entertaining classical works ever written. Saint-Saëns - a 'mischievous Parisian imp' - originally concocted Carnival for a party. Its musical sketches, supposedly of various animals, in fact poked sly fun at composers and performers of the day.
In the same spirit, 60 years later Ogden Nash wrote a set of comic verses about Saint-Saëns' 'animals' (including fossils and - ahem - pianists). Noel Coward was the first to record this marriage of delightful music and charming nonsense.
So how could we resist? The Carnival of the Animals will be accompanied by Nash's verses. For this star turn, legendary Bay Area actor Julian Lopez-Morillas joins us to admonish: "Be quiet, please, for here begins / our salute to feathers, fur and fins."
The mood then changes radically, as Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale and guest vocal soloists join the orchestra in Mozart's sublime Requiem, generally considered the greatest work by the greatest of composers.