This week's concert was simply amazing, probably one of my favorites ever. The program included Mephisto Waltz No. 1 by Franz Listz. Here is a video of Bayram Karamenderes playing. The version we heard at the RPO was arranged for orchestra. According to the program, "Many composers of the Romantic era were drawn to the macabre. The medieval legend of Faust, the learned doctor who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for great knowledge and eternal your, attracted legions of them."
The second selection of the evening was Concerto in A Minor for Oboe and String Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The oboe solo was played by our own Erik Behr. Rochester audiences are very generous, but we all were proud of Erik's performance and he was rewarded with an enthusiastic standing ovation. Erik was grinning ear-to-ear! This YouTube video doesn't really do justice to the piece. The oboe sounds kind of thin and tinny in it. But it will give you a (faint) idea of what the second movement was like.
The second half of the concert was Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 7 in D monor, Op 70. Dvorak usually pulls from the folk songs of his youth, and those are my favorites. This symphony doesn't come from that place, but rather is an experiment in expanding his creative range. Even still, I love Dvorak.
Isn't it wonderful that I can illustrate my blog posting with excerpts from the music itself? Amazing!