Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Headlines This HSO Concert

Sheralyn and my final concert this Houston Symphony Orchestra season [2022/23] takes place this Saturday night, May 13, in Jones Hall in downtown Houston. It will be a great concert program we will be attending, as our dynamic exciting director, Juraj Valcuha, leads the orchestra in the ultra-virtuosic, Violin Concerto #1 in D Major, by Sergei Prokofiev, and maybe Tchaikovsky’s most dramatic and meaningful symphony-Symphony #6 in B minor, “Pathetique”.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky [May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893]

From the Houston Symphony Orchestra website: “Tchaikovsky confessed that he had put “his whole soul” into his final symphony, and for the listener, it’s an enthralling experience that awakens us to a universe of emotion. Music Director Juraj Valčuha leads this poignant masterpiece, known for its haunting ending that fades to black. A special program celebrating the legacy of former Houston Symphony Chief Conductor Sir John Barbirolli also includes Paul Creston’s Dance Overture and Prokofiev’s lyrical Violin Concerto No. 1, with Houston favorite Augustin Hadelich.”

The great Russian Romantic composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky scored his “Pathetique” Symphony # 6 in the key of B minor with four movements: 1. Adagio-Allegro non Troppo; 2. Allegro con grazia; 3. Allegro molot vivace; and 4. Adagio lamentoso. As indicated by the final movement’s score, you can tell that this symphony will have an unusual ending for a Tchaikovsky symphony by ending in a rather subdued, almost sad resignation, instead of the usual explosive, exciting and triumphant finale.

Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto in D Major, while short in length, is not short in the virtuosity required by the soloist, Augustin Hadelich. We have been blessed to see violinist Hadelich perform with our great orchestra and know he will do a great job! This concerto has three movements: 1. Andantino, 2. Scherzo, and 3. Allegro moderato.

As usual whenever Sheralyn and I go to a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert in Jones Hall, I like for you to hear some of the pieces we will be hearing on Saturday night. So, please turn up the volume and enjoy Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto in D Major and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony # 6 in B minor.

Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #1 in D Major:

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Symphony # 6 in B minor, “Pathetique”:

5 thoughts on “Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Headlines This HSO Concert

  1. Do you happen to know the name of the piece that Augustin did solo on Saturday night at the Houston Symphony? After he finished the Tchaikovsky piece he walked off stage, came back to bow, walked off, came back to bow again, people were still clapping and he played a piece solo with the symphony watching him… that piece was phenomenal. I’m losing hearing the song in my mind and don’t know what to search for! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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