Saturday, February 2, 2013

Titanic Night At Jones Hall

Well friends what a great weekend of music for the fetching Mrs B and I.  Last night we got to see the awesome legend of Motown, Smokey Robinson performing some of his great Motown hits accompanied not just by his own band and dancers, but also with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. What an awesome show that was-Smokey was smoking.

Tonight is also a special one as Mrs B and I return to Jones Hall to hear our great Houston Symphony Orchestra perform two great pieces by two great German Romantic composers, Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler.  First we hear a full orchestral version of Mendelssohn's Octet for strings. The Octet is one of the most well known and loved chamber music pieces and was written by Mendelssohn when he was still a teenager-16.  This is almost unbelievable a teenager could write such an accomplished brilliant piece as this.  The first movement of this piece is one of my favorites of all time. We will hear this piece played by the entire orchestra and I am really looking forward to that.

Then in the second half of the program we have Gustav Mahler's symphony #1, known as the Titan. Mahler is known for his long symphonies, this one being just under an hour. What a magnificent symphony this is, full of folk tunes, a haunting funeral march [in the third movement brilliantly made out of the children's tune frere jaques], and containing much passion, especially in the last movement.

This has a big sound as Mahler scored it for an extra large orchestra. It will be interesting to see if the Houston Symphony uses as many instruments as scored by Mahler. This is a grand symphony and well entitled the Titan. To me this is like seeing an epic movie [like Lawrence of Arabia or The Ten Commandments]. Yes, it is a symphony, but on a grander scale. I am really looking forward to this concert.

Please turn up the volume to see why Mrs. B and I will have a Titanic night at Jones Hall.  Enjoy!

G. Mahler: Symphony #1 in D Major "The Titan", Movement 3,  Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen "funeral march":

G. Mahler: Symphony #1 in D Major, "The Titan", Movement 4,  Stürmisch bewegt – Energisch:

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