In a preview of their upcoming Florida tour program, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performed a concert of Russian and German music on March 24 and 25 that had some music fans coming back for the second performance on Sunday afternoon.

Noting that the Romantic program represents The Orchestra well, Music Director and Classical conductor Joann Falletta said the orchestra can learn a lot about themselves by performing in different music halls.

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The program opened with the “Overture to Prince Igor” by Russian composer Alexandr Borodin.  The Russian composer did not consider himself such; but rather, a scientist.  A professor of organic chemistry and doctor, he translated a number of medical books into Russian and founded the first medical school for women in Russia.

Borodin was unable to complete “Prince Igor” before his death.  Fellow composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsikov and Alexander Glazunov completed the orchestration for the masterpiece.

Italian pianist Fabio Bidini returned to Buffalo to join the BPO for a masterful performance of the Johannes Brahms composition the “Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83”.

Written shortly after his Violin Concerto, Brahms had a movement that did not fit in with that Concerto and instead he added it to the Piano Concerto giving the piece four movements instead of the usual three.

After being “discovered” by Robert Schumann, Brahms spent a great deal of time in the Schumann home and fell in love with Schumann’s wife Clara – a pianist in her own right that insisted on playing a Brahms piece at every one of her concerts – and composed the third movement as a song for Clara.

A lover of Hungarian Dances, Brahms included a Hungarian Dance as the fourth movement to the Piano Concerto.

After the intermission, the Orchestra returned to perform excerpts from the “Romeo and Juliet” Suites by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.  Composed after the ballet by the same name, the Suites has 20 movements.  Joann Falletta chose nine of those movements for the performance that included an encore of one of those movements.

The BPO will spend a week in sunny Florida for a five city tour before returning to Buffalo for the remainder of the season.

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