Saturday, October 19, 2013

Excitement In Houston With The First Performance of Andres Orozco-Estrada As HSO's Director-Designate [with update]

HSO director designate Andres Orozco-Estrada
There will be excitement this weekend at Jones Hall in Houston as the Houston Symphony Orchestra's new director-designate Andres Orozco-Estrada takes the podium for the first time as the designee.  Orozco-Estrada takes over officially as the director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-2015 season.   The fetching Mrs. B and I are excited to be there tonight [Saturday] to see our new director designate take the podium.

Andres Orozco-Estrada was born in Colombia and trained and lived most of his life in Vienna.  In his youth he was a virtuoso violinist.   This young man became a premier conductor, conducting for some of the top orchestras in the world.

Mrs. B and I say, welcome to Houston maestro.  We are really looking forward to being in Jones Hall for many years with you at the podium delivering some wonderful music. 

The main two pieces in tonight's concert will be Felix Mendelssohn's great violin concerto, and Serge Rachmaninoff's Symphony #2. 

The virtuosic Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E-minor may be the most popular of all violin concerti.  It certainly ranks up there in greatness along with the Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven concertos.   It is unusual in that the first movement does not have the usual long orchestral tutti before the entrance of the solo violin.  The violinist enters almost immediately and takes over with a mesmerizing theme.  Just as the opening of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony is one of the most recognized and popular, so is the opening of the first movement of the Mendelssohn violin concerto.  The first movement is marked Allegro Molto Apassionato.  There is no break between the first two movements but a short bridge between the exciting ending of the first movment and the melodic Andante second movement which starts around the 14:00 minute mark of the video.   The concerto ends with a fun playful third movment finale, Allegro non troppo-Allegro molto vivace.  The third movement starts around 20:53.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy a little of what my wife and I will tonight.

F. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E-minor:

Update:    Houston  welcomed Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada warmly in Jones Hall and he returned the warmth with appreciative remarks he made before his first piece.  Houston is so lucky to have this young, exciting, dynamic conductor.  It was really great before the first piece, which was a modern piece by a Russian I'm sure not many in the audience knew, how Orozco-Estrada took about 5 minutes to explain all about this new piece.   In explaining it, you could tell the warm friendly and humorous nature of this man.  That made everyone in the audience smile.   Another exciting thing about this evening is that the soloist for Mendelssohn's violin concerto, Midori, was at the pre concert lecture that the Houston Symphony has answering questions from the patrons.  Wow, was that nice of her.  She was so relaxed [knowing she was just about to play the virtuosic concerto] and friendly.  Born in Japan she now is a Professor of Music at University of Southern Cal.  She related how her violin is almost human as if she misses her usual practice time, it seems like it is disappointed in her and doesn't give the same sound.  She also said in response to a question that she still practices around 6 hours a day.   What dedication and work ethic.  Is it any wonder she is as magnificent as she was tonight in playing the Mendelssohn?   Here is her web site.

Thank you Midori and Maestro Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony Orchestra for a great evening of music and warmth. 


Anonymous said...

Any comments on the Rachmaninoff?

Big Mike said...

Conducted so beautifully by Maestro Estrada with warmth and romanticism. I love our director designate. Thank you for reminding me to comment....My wife and I were so excited about getting to see Midori in person at the concert prelude, I had to update on that-but should have mentioned the Rachmaninoff symphony #2. Thank you so much!!!