Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Beethoven Thanksgiving Weekend At Houston's Jones Hall

Ludwig Van Beethoven
What a way to end this Thanksgiving weekend, as the fetching Mrs. B and I will be in Jones Hall to watch/hear Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada lead our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra in a program that ends this three week Beethoven concert special.

Tonight [Saturday] we hear the master's Symphonies #1 and #4.  While not considered in the top echelon's of Beethoven's 9 symphonies, they are still Beethoven symphonies, which means they are still masterpieces.  While probably not as often played in concert halls as the more well known 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th symphonies by Beethoven, it will be a treat to hear these two symphonies.  It will be exciting to hear the HSO play the first symphony in C-Major by Beethoven, because you realize this is the great master's first.  The Beethoven fourth in B-flat-Major, like his first symphony, has for the most part a bright, sunny mood.

In between the two symphonies by Beethoven will be Robert Schumann's emotional, sometimes intense, cello concerto.  This moving concerto that has three movements with no pause in between movements, was written late in Schumann's short life in an incredible two weeks.

In one of my previous posts I have called the Dvorak cello concerto the greatest ever written, but was reminded by one of the great cellist's of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, James Denton, that the Schumann should also be put into the mix.  Here is what @celloJames replied in that post that I said the Dvorak cello concerto was the greatest:  "I would hesitate going so far as to say his cello concerto is the greatest ever written . . . not when you've got one by Schumann that was composed in less than two weeks, two by Haydn, the unbelievable Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante, Elgar's Concerto, and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococco Theme to compete with..."    That is why James Denton is a professional and I am not.  I guess another reason I am not a professional cellist like James is that I cannot play the cello.  :-)

Brinton Averil Smith - Soloist on the Schumann concerto

An added treat to the Schumann concerto is that the HSO's own principal cellist, Brinton Averil Smith, will be the soloist.  

The fetching Mrs. B and I love Brinton Averil Smith, as we love all of the great Houston Symphony Orchestra's musicians.


As always, when Mrs. B and I go to Jones Hall to hear our Houston Symphony Orchestra, I like to give you a flavor of what we will hear tonight [Saturday].  Thanks to the A & E Network for the recording of the Schumann video featuring the legendary cellist, Yo Yo Ma. 

Please turn up the volume and enjoy some wonderful music from Beethoven and Schumann.

L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #1 in C-Major, Movement 4, Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace:




L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #4 in B flat-Major, Movement 4, Allegro ma non troppo:




Robert Schumann:  Cello Concerto in A-minor - Yo Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra:



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