Saturday, May 21, 2016

HSO Classical Season Closes In A Fantastique Way

While there will be a special performance next week of a film [The Cosmos - An HD Odyssey] accompanied by Dvorak's New World Symphony, and some great performances by the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Miller Outdoor Theater in June, the HSO's great 2015/2016 Classical Season at Jones Hall basically comes to a close this weekend.  

And the season closes with a bang and not a whimper as the program features Grieg's exciting piano concerto and Hector Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. 

Bravo! Houston Symphony Orchestra for another great classical season in 2015/2016
The fetching Mrs. B and I will be excited to be in attendance of this great program to hear our world class symphony orchestra with our young, dynamic Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada at the baton.

This about the program from the HSO web site"Houston favorite Gabriela Montero returns to perform Grieg’s virtuosic Piano Concerto.  From its unforgettable opening chords to its heart-on-sleeve finale, warm melodies with a Nordic color abound in this perennially popular work.  Andrés returns to Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz’ fever dream of unrequited love, glittering ballrooms and opium-induced hallucinations of guillotines and graveyards.  Ever since his Houston Symphony debut with this piece, our musicians and audiences alike have fallen in love with the unique sound and masterful interpretations of Andrés Orozco-Estrada."  The symphony by Berlioz is called a program piece as it is meant to tell a story or to invoke a certain mood and is not just music for music's sake.


Edvard Grieg [1843-1907]
Along with Beethoven's opening in his Emperor piano concerto, Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto and the Tchaikovsky's piano concerto, the Grieg concerto has one of the most exciting and well known openings by the piano, as the soloist takes the lead away from the orchestra right from the start, before the traditional tutti by the orchestra enters the fray.




Hector Berlioz [1803-1869]
The symphony's great musical ambassador, Maestro Carlos Andres Botero, who also gives the pre-concert talk before each program, does these wonderful podcasts on the HSO web site-talking about the music and composers, that I hope you will check out.  In this podcast about Berlioz and his Symphonie Fantastique, please click here to hear Carlos Botero's podcast by clicking the arrow where it says "On the Music" Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. 


As always, when Mrs. B and I go to a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert at Jones Hall, I like to give you a sample of the music we will be hearing tonight [Saturday May 21, 2016].

Please turn up the volume to enjoy some "fantastique" music.

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Movement 1, Allegro Molto Moderato:



Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Movement 4, "March to the Scaffold"and Movement 5, finale, "Dream of the Night of the Sabbath":





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