Composers’ Early Successes

February 2, 2021, 8:00 pm

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Success came early for some composers and with several noteworthy examples are included in this special program. Mendelssohn was 17 years old when he composed his Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rachmaninov completed his First Piano Concerto and Strauss his First Horn Concerto at age 18, and 19-year-old Shostakovich submitted his First Symphony as a graduation exercise from the Petrograd Conservatory. The overtures to Verdi’s Nabucco and Wagner’s Rienzi—early triumphs for both composers—complete the program.


Overture to Rienzi, by Richard Wagner
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim, conductor

Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11, by Richard Strauss
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim, conductor; Dale Clevenger, horn

Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21,  by Felix Mendelssohn
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Jean Martinon, conductor

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1, by Sergei Rachmaninov
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Fritz Reiner, conductor; Byron Janis, piano

Overture to Nabucco, by Giuseppe Verdi
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Riccardo Muti, conductor

Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10, by Dimitri Shostakovich
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein, conductor