Saturday, January 30, 2016

Brahms Bright And Beautiful Symphony

It is symphony night once again for the fetching Mrs. B and I as we go to Jones Hall on Saturday night to hear our great Houston Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada.  Also, a feature we love when going to an HSO concert is the pre-concert talk called prelude, from assistant conductor and musical ambassador for the orchestra, Carlos Andres Botero.  He discusses the pieces and composers we are about to hear on that night's concert.

Carlos Andres Botero - musical ambassador for the HSO who gives the "prelude" talks before the concert
This is a great concert program that Maestro Botero will be discussing this weekend that includes, Samuel Barber's concert "Overture to the School for Scandal", Robert Schumann's "Violin Concerto", and Johannes Brahms "Symphony #2". 

The soloist in the Schumann Violin Concerto, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, will be a first time for Mrs. B and I to hear.  Please don't ask me to pronounce her name. :-)  I can't wait to hear how the engaging [sometimes very funny] musical ambassador Botero pronounces her name at the prelude talk.  

From the Houston Symphony Orchestra website, this is how they describe the soloist and the concerto:  "Known for her fresh interpretations and for performing barefoot, European violin sensation Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays Robert Schumann’s brooding, beautiful Violin Concerto."  "Initially suppressed by Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann because they feared it showed signs of Robert’s impending madness, this haunting concerto is now recognized as one of Schumann’s late masterpieces."

After intermission will be the Brahms Symphony #2.  This is one of my favorite symphonies from one of my favorite composers and certainly among the most beautiful symphonies ever composed.  It has a very happy feel to it, with so many beautiful melodies that Brahms is famous for.

Here is how the HSO website describes it:  "Andrés conducts Brahms’ sunny Symphony No. 2, which features dreamy lullabies, a soulful Adagio and the biggest bring-down-the-house finale Brahms ever wrote."

Brahms Symphony #2 is scored in the bright key of D-Major with four movements: 1. Allegro non troppo, 2. Adagio non troppo, 3. Allegretto and 4. Allegro con spirito.  

Thank you to the hr-Frankfurt Radio Symphony You-tube site for the video below of the Brahms symphony being performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra with our young dynamic Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada conducting [who my wife and I will be seeing tonight]. 

Please put in full screen and turn up the volume and enjoy the bright and beautiful Brahms Symphony #2, just one of the pieces that the fetching Mrs. B and I will be enjoying tonight.

Note: Movement 2 starts at 20:18; movement 3 at 30:20; movement 4 at 35:14.

Johannes Brahms: Symphony #2 in D-Major:

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