Saturday, March 8, 2014

Houston Symphony Orchestra's String Section Shines This Weekend

Frank Huang - Multi tasking
Tonight [Saturday March 8] the fetching Mrs. B and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary my love, Sheralyn!  We will celebrate this special night with another great evening of grand music at Jones Hall to hear our great Houston Symphony Orchestra.  This will be a special night especially for our orchestra's string section as the Houston Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster Frank Huang will also serve the role as leader [takes the place of the conductor].  I have no doubt that this dual role by Mr. Huang will be served admirably, having seen him perform this dual role a few months back at a free concert given by the HSO at Houston Baptist University.

Not only does our concertmaster's dual role put the strings in the spotlight tonight, but also the two large pieces for strings that will be played.  The first piece has a Latin flavor composed by modern era Argentine composer [specializing in Tango music] Astor Piazzolla called "Cuatro Estaciones Portenas" [Four Seasons of Buenos Aires].  From the Houston Symphony Orchestra's web site notes: "...the fierce solo tango lines of Piazzolla’s Cuatro estaciones porteƱas.  Its hints of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons only serve to heighten Piazzolla’s sultry melodies. The heat in this music will sweep you into the South American climate and lively atmosphere of Buenos Aires."

The second piece comes from one of the great Romantic composers, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, his Serenade for Strings in C-Major.  This piece grabs you with its magnificent dynamic sound from the first bows of the strings and holds you until the final chord of the final movement.  This is truly a majestic beautiful piece by the great Russian composer.  This piece has four movements 1. Andante non troppo - Allegro Moderato  2. Tempo di Valse [Waltz] 3. Larghetto Elegiaco [Elegy]  4. Andante - Allegro con spirito.

On the Houston Symphony Orchestra's web site they give a preview version of the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, with the following video of the first movement, featuring members from the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela [and members of the Youth Orchestra of Spain].  I thought that is a wonderful tribute to these young people, especially the trouble Venezuela is experiencing right now.  I say Bravo to these great young people!  Also, I give thanks to  sinfonicaJuvenilTC @TeresaCarreno @TCYOrchestra , for posting the final movement on YouTube.  Notice how the climax of the final movement incorporates the opening grand theme of the first movement.

So, please turn up the volume and enjoy a little of what my wife and I will be hearing tonight on our anniversary, with the first and fourth movements from Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. 

P.I. Tchaikovsky:  Serenade For Strings in C-Major, Movement 1,Andante non troppo-Allegro Moderato:

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Serenade For Strings in C-Major, Movement 4, Andante - Allegro con spirito:

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