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When will we get to Scheherazade?

Never have I waited with more impatience for a piece than I did for Scheherazade on Sunday at Symphony Hall. There were a couple reasons for my restless anticipation.

Reason number one is that I love Scheherazade.

Reason number two was the Mississippi River Suite by Florence Price. While I adore Grofe’s Mississippi Suite--not so much this rendition by Price.

I didn't hate all of the Mississippi River Suite. There was a beautiful pentatonic theme which developed in the strings and I enjoyed the incorporation of tunes such as Deep River and Dixie.

In fact most of lyrical music was enjoyable but the dramatic sections sounded contrived and overdone.

I must give Price credit for attempting to depict the Mississippi beings how Wagner crushed it with his depiction of the Rhine at the top of Das Rheingold.

Whereas Wagner started his river depiction with the strings, Price goes with a brass chorale that took forever to get going. This Mississippi wandered through Minnesota for a long time.

The playing of the orchestra was expressive and guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen obviously believed in the merit of the music. Maestro Chen was, in a word, awesome. I’ll address that when we finally get to Scheherazade.

The Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 followed the Mississippi. It was nice but Richard Strauss wrote it when he was 19 so it wasn't Strauss. I mean is was Strauss but it wasn't The Alpine Symphony or Elektra, of Four Last Songs.

It was a nice chance to showcase the talent of principal horn player Benjamin Jaber.

I had a man-crush on Mr. Jaber for most of last season and I was happy to renew my obsession after his solo work in the Strauss. It was well done and we can be proud to have such talent in our orchestra.

Intermission.

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Never have I waited with more impatience for a piece than I did for Scheherazade on Sunday at Symphony Hall. There were a couple reasons for my restless anticipation.

Reason number one is that I love Scheherazade.

Reason number two was the Mississippi River Suite by Florence Price. While I adore Grofe’s Mississippi Suite--not so much this rendition by Price.

I didn't hate all of the Mississippi River Suite. There was a beautiful pentatonic theme which developed in the strings and I enjoyed the incorporation of tunes such as Deep River and Dixie.

In fact most of lyrical music was enjoyable but the dramatic sections sounded contrived and overdone.

I must give Price credit for attempting to depict the Mississippi beings how Wagner crushed it with his depiction of the Rhine at the top of Das Rheingold.

Whereas Wagner started his river depiction with the strings, Price goes with a brass chorale that took forever to get going. This Mississippi wandered through Minnesota for a long time.

The playing of the orchestra was expressive and guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen obviously believed in the merit of the music. Maestro Chen was, in a word, awesome. I’ll address that when we finally get to Scheherazade.

The Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 followed the Mississippi. It was nice but Richard Strauss wrote it when he was 19 so it wasn't Strauss. I mean is was Strauss but it wasn't The Alpine Symphony or Elektra, of Four Last Songs.

It was a nice chance to showcase the talent of principal horn player Benjamin Jaber.

I had a man-crush on Mr. Jaber for most of last season and I was happy to renew my obsession after his solo work in the Strauss. It was well done and we can be proud to have such talent in our orchestra.

Intermission.

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