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.
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!