The finale of the National Symphony's 85th season is also a time to look ahead to season 86, in which conductor Neeme Järvi will lead the orchestra through various series, each exploring a theme.
"Our most innovative decisions was to do a whole season with the maestro consisting of series," said Kadri Tali, who is coming off of her first full year as managing director of the orchestra.
In next year's program, to be officially announced at this year's season closing concert on May 4, the series include "1001 Nights" and "Paris Symphonies," the latter featuring works from Haydn's Parisian period.
A number of Mozart concertos for less common instruments will also be played, which Järvi says are rarely heard.
"Mozart did not write concertos only for the piano and violin," said Järvi. "He wrote an oboe concerto, clarinet concerto, French horn concerto, flute concerto. We never play them. So we are taking a little turn in that direction."
Coming down the stretch this year, the orchestra has also showed a bit of thematic quirkiness, deciding to title last night's concert at the last minute "Wine, Paris, wine, women and song." Friday's concert reverts to heavier fare, befitting a season closer, with Brahms's Symphony No. 4 and Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto on the bill.