Saturday, May 11, 2013

Heroic Night In Jones Hall

The fetching Mrs. B and I will be attending tonight's next to the last concert program for this classical music season [2012-2013] in Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hans Graf.   And what a program it will be: Karl Maria Von Weber's "Overture to Euryanthe", Frederick Chopin's Piano Concerto #2 in F minor, and Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony #3.

I love Von Weber's melodic and exciting overtures and his Euryanthe is no different.  This is not a concert overture as it is written for his opera by the same name.

Probably the greatest Romantic pianist, Frederick Chopin, composed two wonderful piano concertos. His concerto in F minor has one of the most beautiful melodic movements ever written as we will hear in the second movement.  While Chopin was one of the best composer's for the piano ever, it is said that his orchestration [for example for his concerti] is lacking.  I guess it proves that I am not a professional musician or critic, as the orchestration sounds fine to me.

The final piece that will played after an intermission is Beethoven's great 3rd Symphony in E Flat Major, known as the Eroica, which means heroic.  While the fourth movement isn't scored theme and variations, it is actually variations on Beethoven's eroica theme.  This theme is famous for Beethoven as he used it in other pieces he wrote.  I remember my daughter when taking classical piano lessons actually had an early piece called Beethoven's theme.  It was a very simple theme to play, but Beethoven used it brilliantly in his compositions.   I found out later this was his eroica theme.  The first time he used this theme was in his ballet called "The Creatures of Prometheus."  Beethoven also used this theme in a set of piano variations.  Beethoven as a composer bridged the gap between the classical and romantic eras of music.  This third symphony is a mature symphony in the classical style.

As I stated in last week's post, this will be the next to last concert with Maestro Hans Graf as the Houston Symphony's music director.   So, I know this will once again be a packed house in Jones Hall that my wife and I are really looking forward to attending.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy the final movement of Beethoven's "Heroic" symphony #3.

Note: you can hear Beethoven's eroica theme he loved to use at the 1:56-2:28 mark. Also, in this video the ovation this conductor and orchestra get are the kind of ovations you see in Jones Hall in Houston.  In many of the videos I feature on the Tales, the audience seem tame compared to what we experience in Houston.  This is one of the first audience that portrays the ovation I am sure we will have tonight for Hans Graf and the great Houston Symphony Orchestra.

L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #3 in E Flat Major, "Eroica", movement 4, Allegro Molto:


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