Saturday, October 17, 2015

Legendary Pianist Emanuel Ax Performs Brahms In Houston

After just experiencing an exciting run with the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team, Houston will experience some more excitement this weekend with legendary virtuoso pianist Emanuel Ax performing Brahms Piano Concerto #2 at Jones Hall.  The fetching Mrs. B and I will be blessed to be in attendance to hear Ax perform with our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra and our dynamic young conductor, Andres Orozco-Estrada.  Leading off the concert will be the twentieth century American modern composer, Charles Ives' Symphony #2. 

From the Houston Symphony Orchestra website:  "Bask in the warmth of Brahms’ melodic genius when Emanuel Ax returns to perform his majestic Piano Concerto No. 2, a work that enchants from the opening horn solo to the gypsy-inspired melodies of the lilting finale." 

Emanuel Ax to perform in Jones Hall
This from Bach Cantatas Web site on the bio of virtuoso pianist Emanuel Ax:  "The Polish-born [June 8, 1949] American pianist, Emanuel Ax, was born to Joachim and Hellen Ax, both Nazi concentration camp survivors. Ax began to study piano at the age of 6; his father was his first piano teacher."  "In 1961 the family moved to New York City and Ax continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music under Mieczysław Munz." [he also attended Columbia University]

In 1970 Emanuel Ax became an American citizen and has become a great American concert pianist.  He also currently teaches piano at Julliard School of Music. 

The German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto #2 in B-Flat Major is a great concerto, that has the quality of a typical Brahms Symphony with its big bold sound and beautiful melodies and also it has 4 movements [like you would find in a symphony], not the typical 3 that you usually find in a classical concerto.  The four movements: 1. Allegro non troppo, 2. Allegro passianato, 3. Andante, and 4. Allegretto grazioso. 

I [along with Mrs. B] will really be looking forward to seeing Emanuel Ax perform the Brahms 2nd piano concerto. 

As usual, when Mrs. B and I attend our great Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall for a concert I like to give you a little of what we will be hearing tonight.  Thanks to the Classical Vault 1 You Tube Site, here is Emanuel Ax performing the Brahms Piano concerto #2.  This is from a live recording at the Proms 2011 in London with Bernard Haitink leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. 

Also, listen to the final movement of the American composer, Charles Ives, Symphony #2, Allegro Molto VivaceAs you can tell by some of the themes, this is an all American symphony. 

Please turn up the volume and enjoy. 

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto #2 in B-Flat Major: 



Charles Ives: Symphony #2, movement 5, Allegro Molto Vivace:



UPDATE After attending symphony on Saturday Oct. 17, 2015:
Bravo Maestro Andrea Orozco-Estrada, pianist estraordinaire Emanuel Ax, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra for an awesome evening of great performances and great music.  The fetching Mrs. B and I really enjoyed it-a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the great Emanuel Ax-that was truly a wonderful performance by Emanuel and beautiful playing by the whole orchestra [special KUDOs to the associate principal  cellist Briton Averil Smith for his outstanding, moving solos in both pieces].  I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Charles Ives Symphony #2--the truly American symphony--and truly a great symphony. -Loved it and really loved the Brahms piano concerto, with the great Emanuel Ax moving performance.   So, once again, Bravo to all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brinton Smith is the principal cellist. Chris French is the associate principal