It promises to be quite a literate time when the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performs its first regular concerts of 2019. The ensemble will play Symphony No. 1: The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda, the 2016 orchestral work written by Jimmy López. The Peruvian composer is no stranger to FWSO, as his compatriot Miguel Harth-Bedoya has conducted several of López’ works here. López wrote the symphony for the 400th anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’ death, admitting that in his youth he was obsessed with the great Spanish author. The symphony is based on Cervantes’ last novel, about a heterosexual couple of Swedish nobles who have various adventures while disguised as brothers making a religious pilgrimage to Rome.
Richard Strauss wrote one of his tone poems after Cervantes’ more famous Don Quixote, but that will not be the work paired up with López’ symphony. Instead, the orchestra will play Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, a tone poem made famous by its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Instead of Cervantes, Strauss took as his inspiration Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel about another journey, as a sage named after the prophet who founded Zoroastrianism taking his trip toward his enlightenment in Nietzsche’s philosophy that God is dead and humanity’s future hopes rely on supermen. It promises to be an odyssey here.
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra plays Fri-Sun at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $18.70-97. Call 817-665-6000.