Michael Stern, conductor; Ran Dank, piano
The Kansas City Symphony 2017-18 season finale will set your heart and soul ablaze with two theatrical masterpieces. In Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a lovesick composer plunges into a deep sleep where he encounters a series of visions involving his beloved, culminating in the stunning “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath.” Almost two centuries after its stunning premiere, Symphonie fantastique remains one of concert music’s wildest adventures. Inspired by W.H. Auden’s “fascinating and hair-raising poem,” Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety features a central section where the solo piano emerges as the protagonist (perhaps Bernstein, himself) in this larger-than-life human drama.