Saturday, September 15, 2012

Borrowed Beauty

Tonight the fetching Mrs. B and I get to hear the great Houston Symphony Orchestra in its second concert of the season.   We missed opening night as last Saturday night we were coming home [we thought] from our Canadian cruise.  It actually turned out, because of two different delays at the airport, we did not get home until Sunday night.  So, it may be a good thing we did not have tickets for last Saturday as we would have been more upset than we ended up being because of the long delay.

What a great concert we are in store for.  This is an all Johannes Brahms program.  Three great masterpieces by Brahms: his Variations on a Theme by Haydn; the concerto for violin and cello; and his fourth Symphony.

As I have said before on classical weekends, when Mrs B and I go to a Houston Symphony Concert in Jones Hall, you will get to hear a little of what we will be in store for.  We are looking forward to all three pieces, but Tales would like to present to you the beautiful Variations on a Theme by Haydn.  That theme is Franz Joseph Haydn's wonderful St. Anthony Chorale. We could say that Johannes Brahms borrows this beauty from Haydn to compose one of the most well known pieces in the theme and variations genre.

As Tales has stated before, for another classical composer to use another composer's theme in one of their compositions is not considered a theft or plagiarism, as would be the case of an author copying material from another author.  It is considered a showing of respect for the original composer. This practice is done many times in classical music. When done, the composer who uses some of another composer's material and enhances upon it is like that composer saying, "Bravo!" to the other composer-"I honor you".

The structure of this Theme and Variations is: the theme [Chorale St. Antoni] in andante, followed by 8 variations on that theme, and ending with the original theme.

Please turn up the volume and hear the first piece that Tales and Mrs Tales will be enjoying tonight in Jones Hall.

Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn: [St. Anthony Chorale]:


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