Journey through the Mist

An hour before I heard Fabien Gabel captain the Houston Symphony through a (long)  program ranging from Corigliano’s raw Conjurer Concerto to Ravel’s sumptuous Daphnis and Chloé, I was sunk into my seat listening to pianist Hannah Che, a former writing student of mine, as she steered her own vessel through the waters of Lizst, Beethoven, and Leoš Janáček in a solo recital. Her delicate performance of Janáček’s In the Mists remained with me long after she dropped her fingers from the keys, making it impossible not to listen to Ravel hours later and feel as if I were still peering through the soft haze that settles over water at dusk. Read my review at Bachtrack.

Mozart’s Seraglio; Frank’s Conquest

Two pieces at Houstonia Magazine this week: the first, a review of Houston Grand Opera’s Abduction from the Seraglio in which Ryan Speedo Green stole the show, and the second, an interview with Gabriela Lena Frank about the world premiere of her Conquest Requiem this weekend with the Houston Symphony.

Yo-Yo Ma

I really can’t express what an inspiration it was to hear Yo-Yo Ma perform. You read about these prodigies, but seeing is believing. Read my review at Bachtrack.

PS: For all those curious audience members, his serene encore was the “Appalachia Waltz” by Mark O’Connor. If you have chance, check out their collaborative album of the same name.

Emperor at Houston Symphony

If I had to choose just one piece of music to listen to for the rest of my life, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto might be it. It’s the human experience, majestic and honest. At the Houston Symphony on Thursday, it was less than perfect, but pianist Behzod Aduraimov wasn’t to blame. Read my review at Bachtrack.

Another Dimension…

…At Houston Symphony last night with Daniil Trifonov playing Schumann’s piano concerto. You can read my review at Bachtrack. What you won’t read in my review is a moment during the cadenza in the first movement, when the gentleman in front of me pulled his program out, holding it in mid air, and began lazily reading through it. I was beyond baffled why someone would decide to read the list of guarantors while an artist like Trifonov has his hands melting at the piano. Why even go to the symphony at all?