CultureMap Art & About Video
Think of a painting from the Impressionist period, perhaps Claude Monet's Haystacks or a large Water Lilies canvas. Look too closely and the image dissolves into thick brushstrokes and blotches of color. Those physical beauty marks evince the artist hand, his movement, his intention, his thought process.
The music of Claude Debussy, one of Monet's contemporaries, is similar. His compositions are a collage of aural colors that fuse to render not just a visual image, but the essence of that image — at least in the eyes and mind of the artist.
That's quite the tall order for a professional orchestra, not to mention a month-long student ensemble, but with Hege at the helm, this concert will make waves with listeners.
Debussy's symphonic sketchLa Mer, meaning the sea (though for everyone's sake you should refer to the opus by its French name; in any other language the work feels too jejune), is quintessential Impressionism. It looks to the past just as much as the future with ancient sonorities that also hint at Modernism, and floating melodic fragments that stick with you.
On Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Moores Opera House, the Texas Music Festival orchestra will perform Debussy's La Mer in a concert titled "International Tour," the second orchestra program of the season.
Conductor Daniel Hege, music director of the Syracuse Symphony and the maestro who led Houston Symphony's Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition concert last month, is in the midst of rehearsals for this ambitious playbill that also comprises Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 "Classical,"Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal, Sibelius Pohjola's Daughter and Vaughan Williams' Tuba Concerto in F Minor with Houston Symphony's David Kirk in the hot seat.
That's quite the tall order for a professional orchestra, not to mention a month-long student ensemble, but with Hege at the helm, no doubt this concert will make waves with listeners — pun intended.
In this Art & About video segment, I chat with Hege and two emerging musicians playing a big part in the Debussy. On English horn is Daniel Cruz, a student at Eastman School of Music, and concertmaster Lindsey Baggett, who will begin graduate work at University of Houston's Moores School of Music this fall.
We chat about all things French, what it feels like to play in a large ensemble and why Debussy differs greatly from Ravel.
The Texas Music Festival "International Tour" orchestra concert is on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Moores Opera House. Tickets are $15, $10 for students or seniors and can be purchased online or by calling 713-743-3313.