The National Symphony Orchestra’s recent European tour took them to Spain, Germany, and Italy, but not to Vienna, England, and France. This month’s NSO Showcase will make up for this omission: Gianandrea Noseda leads the orchestra in Johann Strauss Junior’s Tales from the Vienna Woods. The Vienna Woods are in the foothills of the Alps, and a favorite retreat for Viennese citizens eager to enjoy some fresh country air. Strauss’ charming waltz is replete with folkdance themes, birds, and horn calls. 

Gemma New
Conductor Gemma New/Photo Credit: Roy Cox Photography

England is represented by Gemma New’s reading of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and the NSO’s performance of Weber’s Oberon Overture under Maestro Noseda. Weber traveled to London for this opera, even learning English to better understand the libretto. Sadly, he died in London of tuberculosis at the early age of 40. 

French conductor Louis Langlée (director of the Théâtre national de l’Opéra comique and former music director of the Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra and Mostly Mozart Festival) presents several well-loved French masterpieces including Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Ravel’s Boléro. Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts the orchestra in 6 movements from Bizet’s l’Arlésienne suites. 

NSO Showcase airs on WETA 90.9 Wednesday, March 6 at 9 p.m. and streams all month long on 

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