Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Romantic Era Concert With The Houston Symphony Orchestra

The fetching Mrs. B and I will be enjoying another great concert with the world class Houston Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night at Jones Hall in a concert featuring two greats in the Romantic Era of music:  The French composer, pianist and organist, Camille Saint-Saens and the great German composer Robert Schumann.  Both Saint-Saens and Schumann with their melodic romanticism are two of my many favorite composers.  Also, to open the program is a late Romantic Era composer Paul Hindemith who had some unique expressionist works in the style of Arnold Schoenberg [in a not so melodic style]. 

Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
Returning to the podium will be our former conductor Laureate, the great maestro Hans Graf.  It will be a pleasure to welcome back to Jones Hall this gentleman we in Houston love to lead our Houston Symphony Orchestra.   My favorite genre of classical music is the piano concerto, and tonight [Saturday] we will be lucky to be hearing Camille Saint-Saens  piano concerto #2 in G-minor, which is probably his most popular piano concerto.  From the Houston Symphony Orchestra web site, "Hans Graf is joined on stage by young French pianist Lise de la Salle, who performs Saint-Säens’ Piano Concerto No. 2. A rising star in classical music, The New York Times stated, “Ms. de la Salle is eminently musical; she offers depth as well as virtuosity.”   Saint-Saens piano concerto #2 is in 3 movements: 1. Andante Sostenuto  2. Allegro Scherzando and 3. Presto. The French composer has a unique opening in the first movement of this piano concerto as the piano has a long introduction before the orchestra comes in [which is usually the other way around].

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
After intermission will be Robert Schumann's masterpiece, his wonderful Symphony #3 known as the "Rhenish."  From the Houston Symphony Orchestra web site it is described this way: "Inspired by the Rhineland and majestic Cologne Cathedral in Germany, Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Rhenish, is emotive, lyrical and uplifting."   This was the last of Schumann's three symphonies and is scored in five movements rather than the typical four movements for a classical [romantic] symphony.  The symphony is in E flat Major and has a bright happy character typical of its major key. The symphony opens with a melodic majestic feel, and the final movement satisfies the audience with its triumphant climax.  

As usual, when Mrs. Sheralyn B and I go to Jones Hall, I like to share a little of the music we will be enjoying with our great Houston Symphony Orchestra.  

Please turn up the volume and enjoy some Romantic Era music that will be sounding in Jones Hall.

Camille Saint-Saens:  Piano Concerto #2 in G-minor, movement 3, Presto

Robert Schumann:  Symphony #3 in E Flat-Major "Rhenish", Movement 1, Lebhaft (lively):

Robert Shcumann: Symphony #3 in E Flat-Major, "Rhenish", movement 5, Lebhaft (lively):

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