* This concert is part of our celebration of Mendelssohn's 200th birthday. Sorry, no cake, just great music.
* Speaking of Mendelssohn, Benjamin Hochman's interpretation of Mendelssohn's first piano concerto is amazing. He is so much fun to watch that I missed an entrance in rehearsal because I was watching him. His playing is incredibly smooth, clear and accurate. Oh, and very exciting. That piece will make you want to get up and dance. If you want to hear a preview, we have excerpts of Hochman's playing on the KSO website.
* We're playing the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde which is one of the most romantic pieces ever written. In my opinion, the melodic theme that is heard toward the end of the piece is just as romantic as the theme from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. I might be biased, though, because this was the piece that was playing on the radio when my husband and I had our first date.....
* When was the last time you heard the KSO play a symphony by Haydn? It's been awhile! Tonight we're playing Haydn's 16th symphony. It's an interesting piece because it sort of straddles the Baroque and Classical periods. There are elements of the Baroque era (a harpsichord, for example) mixed in with distinct elements of the Classical era.
* Anything by Strauss is a massive tour-de-force for the orchestra and Der Rosenkavalier is no exception. It's a huge wash of sound. Rosenkavalier has some of the prettiest melodies that Strauss wrote. There is a waltz that reappears throughout the piece: sometimes soft and slow, sometimes fast and raucous. Of the pieces that we're playing tonight, this is my favorite to play.
Hope to see you at the Tennessee!