Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teenage Magic

As I stated on yesterday's classical music post, last night would be [was] a great "titanic" night of music for Mrs. B and I.  We were not disappointed as the Houston Symphony Orchestra performed magnificently two great pieces by two great German Romantic [Jewish] composers, Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn.

Yesterday we covered Mahler with his magnificent "Titan" symphony.  Today we cover what was on the first half of the Houston Symphony Orchestra program, Mendelssohn's great chamber music piece, his Octet for strings in E flat Major.  This piece was played with the entire Houston Symphony Orchestra string section and what was unique was they played standing up [except for the cellos] in order to keep the feel of a chamber music piece.  It worked.  While it had a wonderful full sound played that way, it still had the feel of a chamber music piece.  Sheralyn and I loved the way the Houston Symphony Orchestra performed this piece.
Note: We knew that it would be played this way because we attended the pre concert lecture session Jones Hall has called "prelude".  That is an added wonderful feature that Mrs B and I look forward to when going to Jones Hall for a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert. It starts about 45 minutes before the start of the concert program.

Mendelssohn was a  prolific child prodigy who was all of 16 when he composed this accomplished piece. That is truly mind boggling when you hear the greatness of this mature piece. It is one of the top pieces in the chamber music repertoire. The first movement, Allegro moderato ma con fuoco, is one of my favorite movements of any chamber music pieces.  The light scherzo [third movement] is well loved by classical music aficionados.

Please turn up the volume on this magnificent Sunday and listen to some Mendelssohn teenage magic.

F. Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat Major: movement 1, Allegro moderato ma con fuoco: 

F. Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat Major: Movement 3, Scherzo:

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