Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Johnny Mathis Music Made for the Symphony

Johnny Mathis Music Made for the Symphony

Review of July 17, 2015 Concert

by Good News Reporter Joanne Quinn-Smith

What a night for dinner and the symphony.  We started off dinner at Alihan's Mediterranean on Sixth St. with shiskabob and seafood raviolis topped with shrimp and baklava for dessert.  Or should I say the Pittsburgh Symphony and Johnny Mathis show for dessert on July 17, 2015. If it were not the PSO Thursday night icons and just a normal concert what an opening band for a performer.  The symphony started the show with three selections:  Henry Mancini's, "The Pink Panther," Cole Porter's
"Begin the Beguine" and a medley of songs from "The Sound of Music."  Such a beginning and then a brief intermission before the star of the show hit the stage and the audience was awe struck before he sang the first note at how amazing he looked for 79 years old and logging over 60 years in show business.

From movie themes to Mathis classics, his performance was flawless.  My cousin said his performance made her want to slow dance all night. When he performed early on "When I Fall in Love," it was easy to see how far back the song took even the men in the audience.  Another Mancini classic, "Days of Wine and Roses" was at the top of the audiences list of favorites and of course "Moon River."

But "It's Not for Me to Say," "Chances Are."  and "Gina" of course made the audience roar with applause.  So it went also with "Secret Love" and "Strangers in Paradise."  Then John hit the stage with his guitar player Gil Reigers for "Misty," "My Foolish Heart," and the much awaited, "Twelfth of Never." For his finale Johnny really showed his range and talent with a medley of Brazilian songs:  The concert ended with a Medley of Brazilian music, "Mas Que Nada",  "Manha de Carnaval" medley of Brazilian music, with Mr. Reigers soloing  and, at the very end, “Brazil.” His encore was, "You'll Never Know."

On seeing other artists with the Pittsburgh symphony I have always felt, "How nice, the symphony is trying to bring the music to the masses."  But with Johnny Mathis the masses were brought to the symphony and more than any other artists this reviewer has seen perform with the symphony, Johnny Mathis music was made for the symphony and our PSO did it proud.  What a performance and so complementary for the symphony and Johnny Mathis.

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