On Friday and Saturday, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director JoAnn Falletta are presenting a preview of their Carnegie Hall concert taking place May 8. If you can’t make it to Manhattan, here’s your chance to join in the festivities.

The Spring for Music festival encourages unusual repertoire, and BPO Music Director Falletta has pretty much promised the moon. The concert begins with the ethereal “Morning Prayers” from “Life Without Christmas” by Giya Kancheli, a composer born in 1935 in Georgia, which was then a part of the Soviet Union. The soulful piece looks back on a soulless era – the oppressive Stalinist regime, when religion was outlawed. It is unusually scored to include strings, electric bass and the recorded voice of a boy soprano.

After intermission, the orchestra grows in size to perform the sprawling, atmospheric Symphony No. 3, “Ilya Muromets,” of the Russian Romantic composer Reinhold Glière. The symphony was inspired by a Russian myth of a warrior who won victory after victory over monsters and foes until he defied God – and was defeated by the rapidly multiplying heavenly hosts.

“It’s very, very moving,” Falletta says. “The more I know of the piece, the more I am completely astounded by it.”

Celebrate “Destination: Carnegie Hall” at Kleinhans Music Hall at 10:30 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $27-$74.

Friday’s concert is part of the BPO’s “Coffee Concerts” series. Arrive early for doughnuts and coffee in the Mary Seaton Room. Saturday concertgoers are invited to arrive at 7:30 p.m. and gather in the Mary Seaton Room for a champagne toast.

For more information, call 885-5000. – Mary Kunz Goldman