June 21st, 2012

Loopster Live: The Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Some Houstonians are sorely grumbling about the heat provided us so far this June. For that I say, knock it off, yous. For every day you give the middle finger to the sun, you adios another 78-degree night like paper plates at a barbecue. You miss enjoyment by deliberately steering clear of it. That being said, seize these breezy Houston evenings and make a point to check out our beloved city’s specialities.

Might I recommend the Houston Symphony at the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights Concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre?

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Grab some crackers and cheese or a pizza and an ice chest full of cold beer and the evening’s pretty much taken care of. The only villain is parking. Get there early. People like free concerts, especially when said free concert features the internationally-renowned Houston Symphony. In case you’re wondering, the Houston Symphony’s been putting on Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theatre since 1941. The first seven years of which, were paid for by donations from the audience, after that, the City footed the bill.

Last Friday’s concert featured the Houston Symphony with Conductor Cristian Macelaru and Cellist Brinton Averil Smith performing Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1887 Capriccio Espagnol—Spanish style dance themes that, along with the scenery of Hermann Park, pretty much conquered any lingering traces of a loathsomely persistent workweek.

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The music, for the most part was light and energetic; it was about what you’d expect of tunes influenced by the dances of gypsies and ballerinas. Not everything that night bore the Rimsky-Korsakov name. Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Maurice Ravel, J. Bragato, Gabriel Fauré, Henri Rabaud and Manuel de Falla all made appearances as well. By night’s end, the temperature had hit the 72 degree mark on my best-guess thermometer and a few stars had even managed to pierce through the glow of our surroundings. KA-POW. That’s a nice way to start the weekend.

For those even more curious about what was played, I’ve listed each part of the concert below.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol, Opus 34

J. Bragato: Graciela y Buenos Aires for Cello and Strings

Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 62

Gabriel Fauré and Henri Rabaud: Selections from Dolly Suite, Opus 56

Maurice Ravel: La valse

Manuel de Falla: Three Dances from El Sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat)

— Richard

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