Saturday, December 7, 2019

Gil Shaham Soloist In This Brahms Masterpiece

It is that time once again, when Mrs. Sheralyn B and I journey to Jones Hall on Saturday night to hear our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra, led by the HSO director, Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada, in another exciting concert.

Legendary American/Israeli virtuoso violinist, Gil Shaham, will be the soloist in Brahms beautiful and melodic Violin Concerto.  As the Houston Symphony Orchestra website states: "No concerto unleashes the singing sweetness or heroic power of the violin more profoundly or poetically.  Breathtaking virtuoso Gil Shaham scales the towering heights of Brahms’ masterpiece, widely considered the pinnacle of the repertoire."

Gil Shaham - born 1971 in Urbana, IL - studied violin in Israel
From the Gil Shaham website:  "Mr. Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971.  He moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of 7, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic."

"Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors ..."

In the first half of this HSO concert, will be a world premiere by Houston Symphony's Composer-In-Residence, Jimmy Lopez Belido - his Symphony #2, "Ad Astra", a work inspired by the Space Program.  On Friday night in Jones Hall it will be performed for the first time anywhere.

Along with the Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Beethoven violin concertos, the Brahms concerto is right up there at the top.  The Brahms concerto is scored in D Major with the usual 3 movements:  1. Allegro, 2. Adagio, and 3. Allegro giocoso.  The first movement is the longest movement of the concerto and is very melodic.  That is followed by a luscious slow movement that contains a long and beautiful oboe solo at the beginning of the movement.  The fireworks happen in the exciting positive dramatic final movement.  All three movements are great in themselves.  Together they define this concerto as a true masterpiece.

Please, as I always say, turn up the volume and play in full screen to enjoy this great masterpiece Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms.  Thanks to Frankfurt Radio Symphony You Tube site for this wonderful video of Hilary Hahn as soloist and Maestro Paavo Jarvi conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major

Wishing Gil Shaham a warm welcome to Houston this weekend!   Thank you for coming and performing with our Houston Symphony Orchestra!

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