contact ME

Use the form on the right to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: concerto

Arthur Rubinstein and the London Symphony Orchestra: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Arthur Rubinstein is one of the piano greats.  Here is a very high quality video of him performing the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andre Previn in 1975.  He is 88 years old in this clip and plays beautifully!  It is hard for me to process that this performance is from the year I was born and yet Rubinstein was born in 1887!

He retired from performing only one year later although he lived until the age of 95.  His career is filled with momentous accomplishments.  He was best known as a recitalist and concerto soloist, but he also performed a lot of chamber music with the likes of Jascha Heifetz and Pablo Casals.

You will hear why he is considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.

Enjoy!



Larry Combs and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Larry Combs was the principal clarinetist for the Chicago Symphony for three decades and is considered one of the all-time greats.  He was appointed principal clarinet by Sir Georg Solti in 1978 and stepped down in 2008.

Here he is a recording of him performing Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Erich Leinsdorf.  This recording is from 1979, his second year in the orchestra.

The two things that jump out at me about his playing are his sound and his dynamic range.  The consistency of both offer me examples to strive for in my own playing.

Enjoy!

Leonidas Kavakos – Sibelius Violin Concerto: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I had the privilege of seeing Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax perform an all-Brahms concert at Tanglewood earlier this month.  While I have been seeing Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax perform for over two decades this was only the second time I had seen Leonidas Kavakos in concert.  Last year, my wife and I were treated to him playing the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Mariss Jansons at the Kennedy Center.  We both instantly fell in love with his playing.

This week's clip his him performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in Tokyo with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.  His phrasing is just stunning.

Oh, and by the way, Gergiev is conducting with a toothpick.  No, seriously.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marin Tinev Playing Strauss Oboe Concerto: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Here is a fantastic live performance of Richard Strauss' Concerto for Oboe in D Major by Marin Tinev.  Sebastian Tewinkel is leading the Orchestra of the Trossingen Musikhochschule in a performance from May 8, 2013 at the Franziskaner Konzerthaus in Villingen, Germany. I love Strauss and I love oboe solos so I couldn't go wrong with this clip!

Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/AprDqEvUtmI

Yuja Wang: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

This past weekend, my wife Tiffany and I traveled to Philadelphia to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform both Ein Heldenleben and the Wind Serenade of Richard Strauss.  I did not know what the first half of the program until we arrived.  I was delighted to discover that it was Yuja Wang performing Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto.  I had heard wonderful things about her playing and of course always get excited about the prospects of seeing someone perform the piano works of Rachmaninoff. The entire performance was truly stunning.  It was a magical program and the orchestra, from Ricardo Morales in the woodwinds to Carol Jantsch in the brass, sounded absolutely superb.  I have seen hundreds of orchestral performances in my life and this was absolutely near the top of the list.  One of the reasons for this was the breathtaking performance of Yuja Wang to open the program.

Her level of artistry was impressive, both her interpretation and execution.  Here is a clip of her performing another monster of the romantic piano repertoire, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.  This performance features Hannu Lintu leading the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in a live performance from Helsinki in 2012.

Enjoy!


David Oistrakh - Sibelius Violin Concerto: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

The Sibelius Violin Concerto is one of the most intense concertos ever written for the violin.  I personally love how it wastes absolutely no time whatsoever getting down to business.  The soloist is thrust into incredibly technical passages in the first two minutes of the piece! I'm not sure I've ever heard it performed better than by David Oistrakh. Some consider Oistrakh to be the greatest violinist of all time and I don't see how you could have that conversation and not at the very least include him in it.  His playing speaks for itself.

This is a studio recording from 1959 with Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra and it is magical.

Enjoy!


Arthur Grumiaux: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Simply put, Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986) is one of the great artists of the 20th century.  My favorite aspects of Grumiaux's playing are his interpretations and the evenness of his tone.  Like all of the greats on every instrument, he gets the exact same tone on the shortest notes as he does on the longest ones. He's known in particular for his interpretations of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart amongst other composers.  There is a calm intensity behind every note that he plays which is inspiring.  This is a magnificent performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D.  It was performed at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1965.  He is accompanied by the Orchestre National de l'ORTF.

Enjoy!


Hilary Hahn: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Last week, my wife and I had the privilege of seeing Hilary Hahn perform the Korngold Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kennedy Center here in Washington.  What a stunning performance she gave! The orchestra, particularly Carol Jantsch, sounded great on Bruckner 7 but I felt that Hilary Hahn stole the show with her performance of the concerto on the first half. Her combination of lyricism and technical wizardry is an awesome combination.  This performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, one of my favorite concertos, is her as a very young professional. Both her passionate lyricism and impressive technique are on clear display here. This clip features the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Lorin Maazel.

The shots of her playing the cadenzas with the violin section gazing on from behind her with astonishment are just great.  They knew that in spite of her age, they were in the midst of greatness.  Hilary Hahn is an amazing talent that every musician should try at all costs to see perform live.  She is special (and the orchestra sounds amazing as well!)

Enjoy!


Gil Shaham - Barber Violin Concerto: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I don't know about you, but when I was 11 years old I sure as heck wasn't soling with the Israel Philharmonic.  Gil Shaham has been a staple of the violin world for so long that it seems impossible that he could only be in his early 40's. Samuel Barber has been one of my favorite composers since high school when I had the privilege of playing his First Symphony on a European tour with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (now BYSO) in 1992.  He is an amazing composer with a very unique voice.  My father was a fan of Barber's and introduced me to his music.  I remember thinking immediately that he seemed to have something to say as a composer.

My favorite part of this Shaham clip, aside from the phrasing and his amazing tone, is how much fun he is having on stage.  That is not always the case with many professional musicians and is a breath of fresh air.  He really seems to be enjoying the conversation he's having with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and we can all learn from that.

Enjoy!

Monday YouTube Fix: Maurice André

Andrew Hitz

I was very fortunate growing up to have a father who was very interested in classical music.  He had a large collection of compact discs before it was common.  In fact, he picked upped our family's first CD player on a business trip to Tokyo when they were still incredibly expensive here in the States.  As a brass player himself growing up, he had quite a few albums by many different brass players.  One of the artists I remember the most was Maurice André. What a sound.  What style.  What phrasing.  He was the consummate artist.  His trumpet playing was lush and always passionate.  His sound is one that an entire generation of brass players has modeled themselves after.  I was honored to meet him in 2001 at the ITG in Manchester, England.

Mr. André passed away last month and the world lost a true gem.  May he rest in peace.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLDF8OeD-hc]