Mozart Piano Concert Report

609 Words3 Pages
The Houston Symphony presented “A Mozart Thanksgiving” with Jeffrey Kahane in duo roles as pianist and conductor Friday night. A superb pianist as well as a gifted conductor, Kahane performed a pair of Mozart piano concertos and conducted the orchestra in the “Prague” Symphony (No. 38). The piano was center stage, sans lid, with the keyboard facing the audience. This setup allowed Kahane to perform while simultaneously conducting the orchestra. He stood during the orchestral parts and sat and gestured during solo passages. His conducting was energetic and decisive, which propelled the music kinetically. Kahane and the Houston Symphony consistently delivered the varied colors and articulation that can make Mozart’s music so special. First on the program was Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.…show more content…
21 in C major, completed one year before the C minor concerto. Kahane and the Houston Symphony made a strong case for the concerto solely on musical terms. This performance was sensitive but straightforward and unfussy. The wind section (largely different from the first half) expressively provided the music’s heart and soul, while the first violins again played with remarkable clarity and unanimity. As piano soloist, Kahane found new colors in each phrase, including intimacy in the second movement. He again provided his own imaginative cadenza. The Jones Hall audience received the concert warmly, with several standing ovations. Kahane responded with a surprising encore, his own improvisation on America the Beautiful. It began softly, with fragments of the actual melody, and it was some time before the fog lifted and the musical picture came into focus. The melody was then repeated several times, each iteration having a different feeling or mood. Particularly poignant was the tune played softly in a minor key. Eventually, the melody became majestic followed by a gradual diminuendo until the
Open Document