Merry Pranks

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 7:30PM

Kaufmann Concert Hall at 92Y




Richard Strauss revolutionized the art of orchestral storytelling, bringing to life such unforgettable characters as Till Eulenspiegel, a devious trickster from German folklore. Our second concert in our new series at the 92nd Street Y features this uproarious arrangement by the Australian composer Brett Dean, which compresses the score into sharp-tongued chamber music for winds and strings. Thanks to neoclassical concertos by Falla and Martinů, the long-neglected harpsichord found a fresh face in modern music, a legacy still being advanced today by the iconoclastic virtuoso Mahan Esfahani. The French composer Jean Françaix, always a source of lightness and joy, applied his instrumental prowess to a new version of the Quintet for Piano and Winds, about which Mozart declared, “I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life.”

FALLA: Harpsichord Concerto for Five Instruments
MOZART: Nonet after Quintet K. 452 (arr. Jean Françaix)
MARTINU: Harpsichord Concerto
STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks (arr. Brett Dean)

This concert is supported in part by the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation

(If you are a 2018-2019 Season Subscriber looking to add an additional ticket to your pre-existing 92Y order for this performance, please contact Alex at 212.896.1704)

2019–20 Season

at Carnegie Hall & 92Y


We are thrilled to introduce next season’s spectacular lineup of collaborators including…

Jan Lisiecki, piano 
(September 26, 2019)  
“an impressive technique allied to a musical sensibility that is poetic, sensitive and even understated…” 
– The Washington Post

Vadim Gluzman, violin (January 25, 2020)
“His playing is often note perfect… dispatched with effortless clarity and accuracy.”
– Boston Classical Review

Members of the Sphinx Virtuosi (May 2, 2020)
Orpheus proudly joins forces with members of the Sphinx Virtuosi, a self-conducted ensemble of top Black and Latinx soloists hailed as “first-rate in every way” by the New York Times. 

Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet (June 6, 2020)
“The hall was set ablaze with dazzling virtuoso playing…” 
– London’s Evening Standard


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