Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Exciting 2014-15 HSO Concert Season Begins Tonight, September 13, 2014

Opening Night of the 2014-2015 Concert Season
Now in  Houston we can officially say, Bienvenidos, Maestro Andres Orosco-Estrada as you lead our great Houston Symphony Orchestra in the opening night [Sept. 13] of the new 2014-15 concert season.  Last weekend I talked about our exciting young dynamic new director in this post I hope you will read if you haven't already: "It's Time Houston To Welcome Maestro Andres Orosco-Estrada As Our New HSO Director".

Bienvenidos to Houston, Maestro Andres Orosco-Estrada
What an exciting season it will be with some of the best concert programs lined up I have ever seen since I have been attending the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall.  Tonight is opening night and because something came up at the last minute, the fetching Mrs. B and I will not be able to attend, but fear not.  I have made sure our tickets are in good hands with two people I love who also love our Houston Symphony Orchestra.  I know they will enjoy the concert immensely.

On this special opening night program will be three of my favorite pieces.  Mozart's Overture to the Marriage of  Figaro, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto [with soloist Alison Balsam], and Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" as orchestrated by Maurice Ravel.

One of the most beloved pieces of Romantic music comes from the Russian Romantic composer Modest Mussorgsky's most famous piece; "Pictures At An Exhibition."  This is a program suite by Mussorgsky which describes, in music, a stroll through the posthumous showing of paintings from his artist friend, Viktor Hartmann.   That is why this piece also has the title of  "Pictures From An Exhibition-A Remembrance of Victor Hartmann".

Mussorgsky composed this piece for solo piano.  The piece opens with the mesmerizing theme known as "the promenade" and although this is not exactly the form, it is kind of like a rondo as the promenade theme repeats itself four times.  The "promenade" theme represents the walking through the halls of the art gallery from one set of pictures to the next.  The ten movements after the opening each represent different pictures or sets of pictures in the art gallery. 

Because of the popularity and love of this piano piece, it has been arranged in different forms, the most famous of which, and the one played most, is Maurice Ravel's orchestration [which means arranged for a symphony orchestra].  While I have heard and love Mussorgsky's original piano version, I also love this wonderful orchestration by Ravel. 

The majestic "Great Gate of Kiev" begins at around 27:10 in the following video, and the piece concludes with a strong stirring announcement of the promenade walk signaling the end of the walk through the exhibition.

I have found this wonderful version on You Tube with a description in words of  the story of  Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition from Valentin Doni.  Please visit his You Tube page here: Valentin Doni.   Bravo, Mr. Doni for the work putting together this You Tube video.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy. [and also read the story]

Modest Mussorgsky [composer]/Maurice Ravel [orchestration]: Pictures At An Exhibition:

The lucky patrons who will be attending tonight's opening concert for the Houston Symphony Orchestra's 2014-15 season will be in for a treat!

Once again, Tales wishes a warm welcome to Houston to our exciting young new director, Maestro Andres Orosco-Estrada.  I predict greatness for the HSO under Maestro Estrada's directorship.

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