JOHN WILLIAMS // Planet Krypton from Superman (1978)

We open the show with a spark of imagination and action. How can we re-imagine our city together? What to listen for: The remarkable crescendo that builds from a solo trumpet into the epic theme.

> Movie music fans: Check out the Pops’ Season Opener, Hollywood Action & Adventure, SEPT 16-18

JOHN WILLIAMS // Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984)

The sun rises over Cincinnati and the Taft Theatre with gleaming energy. The familiar theme symbolizes striving for a goal, the heights of human achievement and a wish for global unity. We commemorate the launch of the summer Olympics with this “goose bump” music.

> American music prevails: American Voice features multi-platinum artist Sara Evans, NOV 4-6.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN // Selections from Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (1961)

Bernstein’s famous music portrays a love story amidst violence, chaos and divisiveness. We see that on the path to greatness, there is hard work, grit and determination. As light emerges, we realize our history is not our future.

> One City, One Symphony: We unite around music by American masters Bernstein, John Williams and Aaron Copland, featuring saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Thanksgiving weekend, NOV 25-26.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN // Overture to Candide (1956)

As the tension fades, color and energy bound forth. The overture (opening music) to Bernstein’s operetta Candide sparkles with can-can material and the famous song, “Glitter and Be Gay.”

> Hear more American music: Gershwin’s popular Rhapsody in Blue, MAR 9, 11-12.

JOHANNES BRAHMS // Symphony No. 3, Movement III (1883)

A sense of calm and reflection overtakes us. Children play, we go about our lives. This is the feeling that Brahms characterized in his personal motto, “Frei aber froh” (“Free but happy”). While German immigrants were settling Cincinnati, Brahms was across an ocean composing symphonies—this one five years after Music Hall opened.

> Louis Langrée’s #CSOBrahmsFest: JAN 5 & 7 and APR 14-15.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH // Symphony No. 5, Movement IV (1937)

The composer said the theme to this symphony was of suering, and optimism. The pulsing energy and triumph of this finale never fails to blow your hair back. This is our city re-envisioned in all its gleaming glory.

> Hear the entire symphony: CSO Season Opening weekend, SEPT 8 & 10.