Saturday, April 9, 2016

A French Flavored Concert In Houston

It is that time once again when the fetching Mrs. Sheralyn B and I go to Jones Hall in Houston on Saturday night to hear our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra.  Mrs. B is really looking forward to this concert program as it features her favorite piece of all, Bolero by the late 19th-early 20th century French composer, Maurice Ravel. 

Fabien Gabel - guest conductor at HSO concert
This program will feature a guest conductor, also from France, Fabien Gabel, who is currently the music director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.  Maestro Gabel, will lead the HSO in a great program, that not only ends with Ravel's very popular Bolero, but also has another French composer, Paul Dukas beloved "Sorcerer's Apprentice" [that was featured in the Disney movie, "Fantasia"], the German Romantic composer, Max Bruch's "Violin Concerto #1", and yes another French composer Francis Poulenc's "Suite From the Model Animals". 

Ravel, Dukas, Poulenc along with conductor Gabel - anyone see a pattern here?  Yes, this will be a wonderful French flavored concert in H-Town.  

HSO Musical Ambassador Carlos Andres Botero 
It will be interesting to hear from our [the HSO] musical ambassador, Carlos Andres Botero, in his pre-concert lecture known as "prelude", why the German composer Bruch's violin concerto was put in this program. Not that I'm complaining, that is a great concerto that I'm glad is part of the program, but it seems to be away from the French theme of the night.  

Violinist Caroline Goulding will be the soloist for the Bruch concerto. From the Houston Symphony Orchestra web site:  "Caroline Goulding plays Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with “the poise and sheer veracity of technique of a veteran soloist.


Maurice Ravel [1875 - 1937]
As I said, the final piece of the concert, Bolero, is my wife's favorite classical music piece of all, and certainly one of my favorite's, so this is the piece we are really looking forward to with anticipation.  The Tales has featured this piece a couple of times before and I hope you don't mind that we once again feature it. 




From The Tales post in March of 2015 about "Bolero" we note the uniqueness of this piece as it is like a musical experiment from Maurice Ravel, using the technique of crescendo for the entire piece, from the first to the final note.  

This from "Bolero's Mesmerizing Crescendo": "Crescendo is a passage that is played with a gradual increase in volume or intensity.  Bolero doesn't just have a passage or phrase that is played in a crescendo style.  It is the whole piece that is the crescendo.  As I said Bolero starts out pianissimo [very softly], then piano[softly], then to a moderate sound, then to forte [loudly] and culminates in a fortissimo climax." ... "In this mesmerizing composition, the same theme is repeated over and over for the entire piece.  At first realizing this, you might think 'oh, what a boring piece'.  To the contrary, when you hear the piece, you will say to yourself, 'Oh, what a brilliant, beautiful piece'."

As always when Mrs. B and I attend Jones Hall to hear a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert, I like to give you a sample of what we will be hearing.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy.

Paul Abraham Dukas: "Sorcerer's Apprentice":





Max Bruch: Violin Concerto #1 in G-minor, Movement 3, Allegro Energico:  [note: Sarah Chang - violin]





Maurice Ravel: "Bolero":





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