Houston Symphony to Welcome Emanuel Ax, 2/13-16

On February 13, 15 and 16, the Houston Symphony welcomes the return of soloist and piano superstar Emanuel Ax for three performances at Jones Hall. Under the baton of Houston favorite Hannu Lintu, audiences will enjoy the brilliance of composers Bach, Strauss and Ravel.

After opening with the intriguing and subtle Valses nobles et sentimentales by Ravel, Ax and the orchestra will perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. Transcribed from a lost violin concerto, this piece is the first and most popular of the six Bach concertos for piano. The first and third movements of the concerto, filled with ornamentations and flowing figures like those found in a Bach violin concerto, allow the soloist to showcase the virtuosity of this favorite work.

Following the Bach, audiences will be treated to the wonderful and famous sounds of Richard Strauss with Ax performing the exciting and waltz-like Burleske in D minor for piano and orchestra. Filled with dance-like gestures, audiences are sure to draw relationships between the Strauss and the Ravel throughout the program.

The orchestra will close the evening with a performance of Strauss's Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. With farcical and dramatic nods to earlier operas by Mozart and others, Der Rosenkavalier is Strauss' nod to the past, unlike his forward looking, although popular, operas Elektra and Salome. Due to the immense popularity and success of the opera, Strauss wrote this orchestral suite encompassing various themes from the opera to help tell the comedic and heart wrenching story of this 19th century love triangle.

More On: Sebastian Bach, Richard Strauss.

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by Peter Danish