Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Key Is The Key

It's another grand symphony night for the fetching Mrs. B and I at Jones Hall in Houston.  This will be a special one as the renowned concert pianist Lang Lang comes to town to play three of Beethoven's five piano concerti over the weekend.  On this Saturday night, Lang Lang will perform Beethoven's dramatic 3rd piano concerto in C minor. I love this piano concerto as I love all of Beethoven's five concerti. Beethoven uses the minor key for a dramatic exciting concerto. This dramatic mood is displayed vividly in the first movement, Allegro con brio.

Along with the Beethoven concerto we will get to enjoy Robert Schumann's fourth symphony in D minor. Another piece in a minor key and another dramatic piece.  This piece was completed in 1841 but with the insistence of Robert's wife, Clara, was revised in a new version in 1851. This is really a thoughtful masterpiece, one that I really like. This symphony is a little unique in that, while it has the traditional four movements, it is played with very small pauses between each movement.  It is almost played as a one movement symphony.

So, Mrs. B and I will get two enjoy two dramatic minor key pieces.  Remember a classical piece in a major key almost always portrays a bright happy and sometimes playful piece, while a piece in a minor key portrays a dramatic, and sometimes has a stormy dark mood.

So, when you hear a classical piece for the first time and wonder what the mood of the piece will be, just remember that the key is the key.

As usual, when the Mrs. and I get to enjoy the great Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall, Tales will give a sample of what we will get to enjoy this night.  Tales has the first movement of the Beethoven concerto and the final movement of the Schumann symphony.  In the first movement of the Beethoven concerto, there is a long tutti introduction by the orchestra before the entrance of the soloist at around the 3 1/2 minute mark.  

As usual, please turn up the volume and enjoy!

L. V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #3 in C minor, movement 1, allegro con brio:

Robert Schumann: Symphony #4 in D minor, movement 4, Allegro Vivace: [note: their is a bridge from the 3rd movement to the fourth at the start of the video, with the final movement beginning at the 1:35 mark]

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