Saturday, March 11, 2017

Some Mendelssohn Excitement And Tchaikovsky Drama Performed by HSO

Wow, what a great concert program that me and the fetching Mrs. B will be attending Saturday night, March 11, at Jones Hall in Houston.  It features our Houston Symphony Orchestra performing the exciting Piano Concerto #1 by Felix Mendelssohn and the dramatic and powerful 6th Symphony from Tchaikovsky, known as the "Pathetique".  If that isn't great enough the program begins with one of my favorite concert overtures, Mendelssohn's "The Hebrides" [that we have featured many times here on the Tales]. 

This from the Houston Symphony Orchestra website:  "Explore the Scottish isles in Mendelssohn’s musical postcard, The Hebrides, plus hear acclaimed pianist Ingrid Fliter perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The program concludes with Tchaikovsky's powerful Symphony No. 6, Pathétique. Tchaikovsky wrote, "I have put my whole soul into this work." His final masterpiece, this symphony is a tour-de-force of unforgettable melodies."

Mendelssohn's piano concerto #1 is certainly one of the most exciting in the concerto repertoire, that displays excitement from the opening in the first movement until the energetic climax of the final movement.  It is scored in G minor with 3 movements: 1. molto allegro con fuoco, 2. andante, and 3. Presto - molto allegro e vivace. Of course, along with the excitement, this concerto contains Mendelssohn's always beautiful melodic score. 

This will be the first time Mrs. B and I will be blessed to see the virtuoso pianist, Ingrid Fliter.  By this video from the HSO website featuring a small clip of Ingrid Fliter practicing the Mendelssohn concerto [with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra], we are certainly in for a treat.  What great touch and virtuosic clarity displayed in this short sample: 

Clip of Ingrid Fliter practicing the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto #1 with the VSO:

Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony [which was his final symphony] certainly displays the drama that its B minor key would suggest; it contains many powerful emotions throughout. This from Wikipedia: "The composer entitled the work "The Passionate Symphony", employing a Russian word, Патетическая (Pateticheskaya), meaning "passionate" or "emotional", that was then mistranslated into French as pathetique, "evoking pity", yet the mistranslation survived subsequent productions in every country but Russia."

"The Pathetique" Symphony is scored in four movements:  1. Adagio to Allegro non troppo to Andante, 2.Allegro, 3.Allegro molto vivace, and 4. Adagio lamentoso.  While much power is displayed throughout, the symphony ends in a sorrowful emotion, as if fading away in silent grief.  

As always, when Mrs. B and I attend our great Houston Symphony Orchestra in concert, I like to give you  a small sample of what we will be hearing.  Please turn up the volume and play in full screen and enjoy.  

Note:  I don't know where that voice comes from at the 1:49 mark, but this is such a great performance by the great virtuoso, Yuja Wang, with conductor Kurt Masur leading the Verbier Festival Orchestra, I wanted you to hear it anyway. 

Felix Mendelssohn:  Piano Concerto #1 in G minor:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:  Symphony #6 in B minor, Movement 4, Adagio lamentoso:

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