Age of Anxiety: Symphony 2/Candide Overture
Based on a Pulitzer prize-winning poem by W. H. Auden, Bernstein’s Symphony No.2 ‘The Age of Anxiety’ portrays the spiritual journey of self-discovery of four people in a New York bar. One of Bernstein’s most deeply personal works, encompassing an enormous range of contrasts, it was first performed in 1949 with the composer himself playing the piano concertante part. The overture to Candide, a Broadway operetta based on Voltaire’s satirical novella, has always been a much-loved concert piece. The Symphonic Dances from West Side Story are a collection of themes ranging from the energetic Rumble and Mambo to the arching melody Somewhere and the heart-rending I Have a Love.