Mercury Showcases Brahms and Mendelssohn in October

Mercury Showcases Brahms and Mendelssohn in October

More than music can be heard on Mercury Chamber Orchestra's October 6, 2018 concert as it returns to its longtime downtown home, the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater. Under the direction of co-founder and Artistic Director Antoine Plante, Mercury offers an enticing program of music that is not only bright and bold, dramatic and melancholy, but also aurally authentic of the time the works were composed.

With its unique, trademark style - the orchestra stands rather than sits to perform, and historically accurate instruments (not only from the Baroque era, but to the original performances), Mercury Chamber Orchestra offers an enticing perspective on the moving, compelling third symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn. Audiences will enjoy a sound authentic to the era, from the brass horns, which unlike modern horns, have no valves, to the all-wood woodwinds, and the string instruments, with their lighter, lyrical sound from strings made of animal gut rather than modern nylon or metal.

Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 in A minor draws on the composer's ruminations of the Scottish landscape from his visit to the country 13 years earlier. Its joyful Scherzo is derived from Scottish folk music. Mercury juxtaposes the dream-like lyrical and contemplative themes of the work with Brahms' multifaceted and bold Symphony No. 3 in F major, completed in the summer of 1883 when the 50-year-old composer was at his zenith. From the first movement's dramatic opening, with its three-note motive for the horns: F-A flat-F ('Frei aber froh', 'Free but happy') to the melancholy theme of the third, and the dark, tempestuous fourth movement, audiences are sure to hear why the piece was an instant success at its premiere.


Brahms' Third Symphony

Saturday, October 6 at 8 PM


Felix Mendelssohn

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, "Scottish"


Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Antoine Plante, Conductor

This concert is made possible in part by the Houston Endowment and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.


Innovation, accessibility and dynamism are just three of the distinguishing characteristics of Mercury Chamber Orchestra, the critically acclaimed Houston-based period instrument ensemble that continues to redefine the orchestra experience. Now in its 18th season, Mercury celebrates the power of music - from the Baroque period and more - serving the Houston community and beyond through teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence.

In addition to performances in multiple venues throughout the Houston area, including its flagship series at Wortham Center's Cullen Theater, and Neighborhood Series at the Baroque gallery in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) Beck Building (with an addition concert added this season at 8:30 PM), Midtown's MATCH, the chapel at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, and Dosey Doe in The Woodlands, Mercury continues to invest in the community. It offers free community performances annually, including the community concert at The Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, and public concerts in the Crain Garden at Houston Methodist Hospital. Recognized for its award-winning team-teaching programs, Mercury also provides in-school performances for Houston area students and master classes for school orchestras. Active in the recording scene, to date, Mercury has released eight albums on its own label, featuring works by Corelli, Mozart, Schubert, Rameau, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and Handel.

Mercury continues its collaboration with The Juilliard School's Historical Performance Program for the third year. The Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship initiative encourages the development of talented young instrumentalists and fosters a strong relationship between two major players in America's period instrument performance scene, as well as introducing Houston audiences to the next generation of great period performance musicians.

Mercury gratefully acknowledges the following organizations and corporations for their ongoing support: The City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment Inc., Texas Commission on the Arts, the Wyatt Foundation, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, Phillips 66, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston First, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For additional information on Mercury, its events and concerts, tickets, directions to

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