Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Pearl of a Man Leading The HSO This Weekend

What a great honor for those attending this weekend's concerts at Jones Hall in Houston, TX  [like the fetching Mrs. B and I will be on Saturday night], as our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra will be led by the legendary Israeli-American virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman in a great program of Bach, Schumann and Mozart.  Maestro Perlman, besides conducting the orchestra will be the soloist in Bach's Violin Concerto #1 in A minor.

This from the HSO web site: "It doesn’t get any more must-see than this. Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is your conductor and soloist in a program of musical delights, including Bach’s crowd-pleasing concerto and Schumann’s rhythmic and rustic Fourth Symphony. To top it off, hear one of the most beloved symphonies ever composed in Mozart’s ingenious Symphony No. 40".

What an exciting night the patrons in attendance will be in store for.  I, for one, can't wait to be there - not just for the wonderful music, but to be able to see Maestro Perlman.

As always, when Sheralyn and I attend an HSO concert, I like to give a small preview of the pieces we will be hearing that night.  So, please turn up the volume and enjoy a sample of great music from Bach, Schumann and Mozart.

J.S. Bach: Violin Concerto #1 in A minor:

Robert Schumann: Symphony #4 in D minor, Movement 3, Scherzo and Movement 4, Allegro Vivace:

W.A. Mozart: Symphony #40 in G minor, "Great G minor", Movement 1: Molto Allegro :

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tales Top Five Funniest Dos Equis Lines

With the help of the Tales ombudsman, Mr. Bigmouth, the top five funniest Dos Equis "Most interesting man in the world" lines have been chosen.
Stay thirsty my friends
These are the Tales final, never to be changed, official results.  I must admit Mr. Bigmouth did not let the Tales executive board [i.e., me] down this time, as these are laugh out loud funny.  So, without further ado here are:

The Tales top five funniest Dos Equis commercial lines:

#5  The most interesting man in the word once received a standing ovation....................from the jurors' box.

#4  The most interesting man in the world can start a fire playing the castanets.

#3  The most interesting man in the world is so interesting that mosquitoes don't bite him............out of respect.

#2  The most interesting man in the world can play Chopin .................on the drums.

and speaking of drums,
The Tales choice for the funniest Dos Equis line:
#1  Mexican jumping beans ask high.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Welcome To H-Town, Finally, Mr. Fall

Repeat from last year, 2017, when Fall "temperatures" finally arrived in H-Town.

During the summer I have been walking in this "cool" mall to do my morning walk out of the sun's draining heat. That has continued past the summer as it seems like the hot temperatures would never go away in Houston.  That is until today, when it seems like out of the blue, there was an actual chill in the air as I walked outside.  I looked at my weather app on my I-phone to see the temperature at 60°.  Wow!  So, back outside today to these beautiful lakes area to do my morning walk.  Hallelujah!

What a great feeling doing my walk around these lakes "in the fall"
Finally, Fall has officially come to H-Town!  Thank you, God!

Update: Oct. 15, 2018:  Temperature in Houston today- 57.  Baby it's cold outside.  :-)   

In honor of this, Tales would like to play Vivaldi's great "Autumn Violin Concerto" from this Baroque composer's "Four Seasons".

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Bravo Concerto!

For those of you who have never had the privilege to go to a classical concert with your local symphony orchestra [or one closest to your residence], I would recommend going when one of the pieces on the program is a concerto.  A concerto is a piece with the symphony orchestra and a soloist who stands or sits in the front, closest to the audience.  So, a piano concerto would have a pianist in front of the orchestra.  A violin concerto would have a solo violinist standing in front of the orchestra.  There are also double and triple concertos which would involve more than one soloist, and they would be in the front of the orchestra facing each other.  For example, in Beethoven's great triple concerto there is a violinist, cellist and pianist as the three solo players in front of the orchestra.

Beethoven's Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano
A concerto, literally means contest or competition. There will be no winners or losers in this contest but you will at times have the orchestra taking the lead, and at other times the soloist will take charge.  Most of the time, though, the soloist and orchestra work together to make some exciting music.  It is wonderful to hear the play between the orchestra and soloist.  It is also fun to watch the conductor, while conducting for the entire orchestra, making eye contact with the soloist to make sure they are on the same page.

The concertos are somewhat like symphonies, with the addition of a soloist with the orchestra.  But while a classical symphony usually has 4 movements, a classical concerto will almost always have 3 movements [usually in the form of fast, slow, fast].  Also, in a concerto something that you will have that you will not have in a symphony is the cadenza.  A cadenza is when the entire orchestra will put their instruments in non-playing position, and the soloist performs by himself a virtuoso passage that is meant to show off the soloist great virtuosity.

One more thing you will notice about the concerto is that for the most part [but not always] the soloist will play the piece by memory, without the music.  That is in a solo concerto.  For double and triple concertos, I think because of tradition, most of the time the solo players will have the written music before them. 

Without further ado, here are examples [one movement] of the concerto for different instruments:  Rachmaninoff's thrilling, dramatic and extremely virtuosic piano concerto #3; Dvorak's epic cello concerto; Tchaikovsky's great and exciting violin concerto; and Hummel's electric trumpet concerto.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy these great concerti.

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #3 in D-minor, Movement 1, Allegro ma non tanto:

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Trumpet Concerto in E-Major, Movement 3, Allegro:

Antonin Dvorak:  Cello Concerto in B-minor, movement 3, Allegro Moderato-Andante-Allegro Vivo:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin concerto in D-Major, Movement 1, Allegro Moderato:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D-Major, Movement 3, Allegro Vivacissimo: