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Symphonic Siesta

With the New World Symphony’s inaugural season at its new Frank Gehry building underway, other orchestras may have trouble grabbing Miami’s attention. But when a member of the Big Five — the Cleveland Orchestra — performs, even celebrity architecture can’t compete. This weekend, Franz Welser-Möst will conduct the acclaimed orchestra, which has enjoyed a residency at the Arsht Center since 2007. As part of the Strauss A Hero’s Life program, it will perform Robert Schumann’s “Piano Concerto” with Pierre-Laurent Aimard on the ivories and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), a bombastic piece requiring the full orchestra. First, though, it will present Claude Debussy’s lustful “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun.” It’s a symphonic poem about a half-man, half-goat creature who plays pipes alone in the woods, gets turned on by passing nymphs, pursues them, and falls asleep exhausted. Some say it was one of Michael Jackson’s favorite pieces. Can you picture him frolicking around Neverland Ranch, playing his own flute with a trail of nymphs and child actors in his wake? Close your eyes and imagine the freaky scene at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday at Knight Concert Hall.
Jan. 28-29, 8 p.m., 2011

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