The song cycle has been assembled and arranged by Saariaho out of excerpts from her opera Adriana Mater, which premiered in April of this year at the Op_ra-Bastille in Paris. Mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, who created the title role, is the soloist with the Philharmonic.
The first U.S. performance of the Adriana Songs is this evening at 6:45 p.m. as part of the New York Philharmonic's "Hear and Now" series, short early-evening concerts in which a contemporary work is discussed with the composer before a complete performance. Steven Stucky, a well-regarded composer himself, will serve as host and moderator.
Robertson, Bardon and the Philharmonic give three further performances of Adriana Songs this week: tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday (Dec. 15-16) at 8 p.m. Also on the program will be Jan Sibelius's Night Ride and Sunrise and two works by Claude Debussy, Symphonic Fragments from Le Martyre de Saint-S_bastien and La Mer.
All of these concerts will be given at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. For more information, visit www.nyphil.org.