Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ax Plays Beethoven - Gabel Conducts Brahms In This HSO Concert

It's that time once again when the fetching Mrs. Sheralyn B. and I will trek to downtown Houston to Jones Hall this Saturday night, November 16, when our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra will have a blockbuster concert program that we are really looking forward to.

This program only has two pieces, but wow, what two great pieces they are.  In the first half of the program, our Grammy award winning orchestra will welcome the 7 time Grammy award winning pianist, Emanuel Ax as the soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto #1.  This legendary Ukranian born American pianist will be performing one of my favorite piano concertos that I love.

Legendary pianist Emanuel Ax will perform in Jones Hall Houston this weekend with the HSO
Beethoven's piano concerto #1 is scored in C Major with 3 movements:  1. Allegro con brio; 2. Largo; and 3. Rondo - Allegro Scherzando.

Then in the second half of the program will be one of my all time favorite symphonies, Johannes Brahms Symphony #2.  This wonderful melodic symphony will be led by guest conductor Parisian, Fabien Gabel.  Maestro Gabel will conduct this truly beautiful symphony that Brahms scored in D Major with the usual four movements in a classical symphony:  1. Allegro non troppo; 2.Adagio non troppo; 3. Allegretto grazioso; and 4. Allegro con spirito.
While some symphonies may have a meaning to them [program symphonies] or may be dramatic or may be pensive that make you think, this Brahms symphony just has beautiful music that you can sit back and enjoy.

From the Houston Symphony Orchestra website:  "Awed by Beethoven’s colossal shadow, Brahms took 21 years to complete his first symphony. Within mere months of its premiere, a second came into being.  Filled with sumptuous, free-flowing melodies and capped by a triumphant roar, this is music that reveals a symphonic master boldly taking on the mantle and making it his own.  Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 sparkles with the crystalline beauty of Mozart, but courses with an intensity that’s all Beethoven.  Legendary, seven-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax is your soloist."

As usual, whenever the fetching Mrs. B and I go to a HSO concert, I like to share what we will be hearing this Saturday night.  And when you hear these two pieces, you will see why I think we will be blessed to be in Jones Hall with this blockbuster program.  So, please turn up the volume, play in full screen and enjoy these masterpieces from Beethoven and Brahms.

Note: the You Tube video below of the Brahms Symphony, Houston Symphony Orchestra's very own director, Maestro Andres Orosco-Estrada, is the conductor.  

L.V. Beethoven:  Piano Concerto #1 in C Major:

Johannes Brahms: Symphony #2 in D Major:


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