The Music of Tchaikovsky and Jorgens


Last weekend Keltin and I went to the Meyerson to see the Dallas Symphony perform. This is the first one we have been to in a couple of months and we were in love with the music.

Keltin in his new suit!

The first piece was Jongen’s Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra Op. 81 in four movements. Something that I have come to learn since we began going to the symphony is that the visiting musician, in this case the organist, always dress a bit like rock stars. This guy was in a fantastic patterned suit with a bright red shirt and tie.

When I listen to symphonies I tend to associate each movement with an image or action, this one was different. The first movement sounded like a conversation between the organ and the orchestra; a back and forth. Never in perfect harmony, more a contrast. The second movement was full of high notes that I’m always surprised a organ can make, typically the instrument is associate with deep notes that you can feel in your chest but the second and third movements were delicate and a bit slower. And the fourth movement, it was fast and lively, music to make you smile.

After intermission we were treated to Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58, also in four movements. The first movement put me in mind of a chase and escape and then the drums. Notes that get the heart pounding before letting it calm for a moment before rising again. The second movement put me in mind of the day in the life of a bird, sun and rain showers but no real danger, full of bright high notes that sang sweet. The third movement was the path of a small pastoral stream to a wide river, the rush of rapids and running through a city before finally finding the way to the sea.

The fourth movement did not bring any particular picture to mind but it was my favorite. I love the sound of harps and rarely get to hear them and this piece used them – not enough but they were beautiful. Delicate notes drip from the harp stings to fall sparkling into the audience.

Have you ever heard either of these symphonies? Do you have a favorite? Have a great weekend!


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