Peter Lieberson, the singer's husband, was commissioned to write the work by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony; the Philharmonic gave its world premiere in May.
"I discovered the love poems of Pablo Neruda by chance in the Albuquerque airport," Lieberson writes in program notes for tonight's concert. "The book had a pink cover and drew me in. As I glanced through the poems I immediately thought that I must set some of these for Lorraine.... I am so grateful for Neruda's poetry, for although these poems were written to another, when I set them I was speaking directly to my own beloved, Lorraine."
Tonight's program also includes Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and Mahler's Symphony No. 4, with soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, filling in for Dorothea R‹schmann, as soloist. James Levine is the conductor.
Lieberson, Levine, and the BSO will give Neruda Songs its New York premiere on November 28 at Carnegie Hall.