Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Houston Symphony promises an evening of starry-eyed music in collaboration with guest conductor, Gilbert Varga and Norwegian violinist, Vilde Frang. Featuring pieces composed on contemplations of love, the program for the concerts on February 14, 16 and 17 will feature the music of Wagner, Mozart and Prokofiev.
Opening the concert will be Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, which was originally written by the composer as a musical gift for his beloved wife, Cosima. The origin of several themes that later appear in the third installment of Wagner's Ring cycle, the piece features instrumental echoes of sounds that surrounded the birth of the couple's son, Siegfried. Wagner kept all writing, preparation and rehearsal of the piece secret and premiered the piece to a live audience on Cosima's 33rd birthday.
Following the rarely seen romantic side of Wagner, the program will continue as the young violin prodigy, Vilde Frang, joins the orchestra on stage for Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5. Written when Mozart was only 19, the concerto features a flirty interaction between violin and orchestra while the fast-slow-fast musical structure models the dynamic nature of young love. Also known as the Turkish Concerto, the piece features an interlude of contrasting Turkish music to which Frang will lend her own virtuosic touch.
In a finale to the evening, the Symphony will feature Frang in a performance of Prokofiev's ode to Shakespeare's most beloved couple, Romeo and Juliet. Prokofiev, at the urging of the ballet's original choreographer and perhaps his own romantic tendencies, first wrote the four-act ballet with a happier ending in which the pair did not meet a tragic end. However, after being rejected from several dance companies due to the non-traditional ending, the ballet was rewritten and choreographed with a restoration of Shakespeare's tragic end for the lovers. Filled with brilliant orchestrations and high drama, the selections from Prokofiev's ballet are sure to seduce the audience at every turn.
Houston Symphony Classical Series
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002
Thursday, February 14, 2013, 8:00 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2013, 8:00 PM
Sunday, February 17, 2013, 2:30 PM
Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
Gilbert Varga, conductor
Vilde Frang, violin
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5
Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet
Tickets from $29