Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Rach 3 Comes To Jones Hall

It's concert time once again for me and the fetching Mrs. B, as we trek to Jones Hall Saturday night to hear Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada lead our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra in a great program, featuring American composer, George Gershwin's "An American in Paris", and Russian Romantic composer Sergei Rachmaninoff's dramatic virtuosic Piano Concerto #3.

This from the Houston Symphony Orchestra Website:  'The brilliant young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin returns to Houston to perform Rachmaninoff’s ultra-Romantic Piano Concerto No. 3. The program also celebrates American music with Gershwin’s jazzy An American in Paris and John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony, a work inspired by Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project."

I love Gershwin's American in Paris and remember a couple of years ago when we were in Paris I really was thinking how Gershwin captured the atmosphere of Paris perfectly.  Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto in D minor, favorably known as the "Rach 3", is one of my favorites and I love to be in person to see the artistry of the pianist in playing the difficult solo part of this concerto.  The first movement begins with what seems like a simple mesmerizing theme for the pianist but turns into a difficult virtuosic feat for the soloist.  The exciting final movement ends in quick explosive climax. The concerto in D minor has 3 movements: 1. Allegro ma non tanto, 2. Adagio and 3. Alla breve.

As always when Mrs. B and I go to the symphony, I like to give you a small sample of what we will be hearing tonight.  In the Rach 3 video, the pianist is the great Yuja Wang.  She gives an amazing performance. 

So, please turn up your volume, put in full screen and enjoy.

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #3 in D minor:

George Gershwin: "An American In Paris":

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