Concert Report Essay

The concert that I attended was the University Symphony Orchestra presented by the University of Louisville School of Music - Concert Report Essay introduction. The production featured 4 different works of music: “Spring” from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi, Fantasy for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 42 by Paul Creston, Flute Concerto in D Major, Op. 283 by Carl Reinecke, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. The first piece of music was Spring from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. This work is a violin concerto.

The first movement was in allegro and began in the major key. It started out in a monophonic texture and with the theme of the piece. The pitch and tempo of the work is designed to bring about feelings of springtime. The notes are high in pitch and very short in duration. It could be described as “fleeting”. The theme reappears, so the piece could be in ritornello form. The second movement was largo e pianissimo. It starts off in a minor key, and there is a definite ground bass throughout the movement with a melody of higher-pitched notes above it.

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The tempo is much slower, mostly because of the presence of the ground bass, and the ground bass has the same recurring theme over and over again. The third movement is back in allegro, and the tempo is faster. The beginning of this movement sounds like a combination of movements I and II, with the deep, slow tempo of the ground bass of II with the light-hearted, distinct, “fleeting” tempo and pitch of I. Overall in movement III, the key alternates between major and minor. The key is in major when the ground bass leaves and transitions to minor when the ground bass reemerges.

The second piece of music was the Fantasy for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 42 by Carl Reinecke. The first movement begins in minor key with a moderately fast tempo. The sound and texture of the music brings about the feelings that you’re listening to a storm. The first movement features the orchestra and trumpet equally. At the end of movement, the tempo slows down in order to transition to the second movement. The second movement predominately features the trumpet, with the orchestra in the background in a more subdued role.

The tempo is much slower, but at the end of the movement the tempo begins to quicken and the tension begins to be build back up, which leads to the third movement. At the beginning of the third movement, there is a lot of tension being created. There is also less trumpet being featured and more of the orchestra. The orchestra is used to create tension, and the trumpet is used in order to deliver on the feelings created by that tension. The third piece of music was the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.

The first movement definitely has the feel of a dance, and you can picture people dancing during the first few minutes. There is also a definite feel of tension being built up in the minor key, and with the presence of the minor key and tension is the corresponding presence of the ground bass. The first movement has a recurring theme, and the ground bass is instrumental in creating the tension with the piano plays the theme overtop of it. By the end of the piece, the tension seems to have been resolved a bit, and the music sounds more melancholy than the brooding feeling it once had.

The second movement transitions to a more playful feel in the major key. The ground bass disappears and the movement seems somewhat erratic with no real melody. Eventually, it switches back to a minor key and the ground bass returns. This means that the buildup of tension returns as well. At the end of this movement, it switches back to a major key and is back to being playful (which means the ground bass is gone), and this transitions to the third movement. The third movement starts out in the major key and has a noticeable theme.

Eventually by the end of the movement, the theme from movement I resurfaces and it transitions back to the minor key, with more tension being created. While movements I, II, and III seem to be building tension in a buildup to something, movement IV is that something, as it seems to serve as the resolution of the built-up tension. You can definitely tell that this movement is the resolution of the previous three movements. The pitch is deep and the tempo is fast, with loud dynamics. You could say that the first three movements served as the “hype” for the fourth movement, the “fight”.

There seems to be no theme to this movement. Eventually, the movement transitions to a softer, slower tempo and the music sounds more sad than angry. This could possibly be described as the “aftermath”. There was a fourth piece, Flute Concerto in D Major, Op. 283 by Carl Reinecke, but I had to leave the concert in between the transition from Op. 42 to this piece because of an emergency phone call I had to take. I tried to find a recording of this work online but was unable to do so, but I wanted to explain its absence from this report.

Concert Report Essay

The Igudesman & Joo: “Big Nightmare Music” concert premiered in Wright Auditorium on April 13th, 2012; accompanied by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra - Concert Report Essay introduction. Imagine Mozart taken over by Monty Python and you have some idea of the humor/seriousness created at the highest level of musicianship on stages around the world. Violinist Aleksey Igudesman, and pianist Hyung-ki Joo are both classically-trained artists who bring a show-stopping, unique approach to the concert performance. Igudesman & Joo strive to make classical music more popular with the public, and for them, the mix of music, comedy and theatre is its own art form. Comedic as well as musical virtuosi, they add a new light to classical music, mixing genres and styles with subtle doses of humor and theatrical elements. The comedic approach to their classical tunes might be irreverent, but they always treat the music with the utmost respect. Believe it or not, many of the classical music world’s biggest names are part of their biggest fan base. The concert included a variety of works by Igudesman & Joo, and everything was brought together with special thanks to the Greensboro symphony orchestra. From Mozart with Love begins the concert and it sets the classical tone with subtle entrances of the underlying James Bond theme for the comedic pass-off and duet. From the first piece to the last well known song “I Will Survive,” the concert has everything to keep even the non-classically aware viewers entertained. Igudesman & Joo perform well known favorites like Mozart Bond, Alla Molto Turca and Cleaning vs. Riverdancing enhanced by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. In addition to other well-known adaptations of pieces from their popular duo-show, “Big Nightmare Music” comes several witty sketches personalized for a symphony orchestra, drawing everyone into their act, from the first violinist to the last percussionist. Cleaning vs. Riverdancing immediately caught my attention due to the fact that it was a piece written for violin/piano.

The comedy sketch that developed into a full ensemble visual feature was both hilarious and surprising seeing that the members of the orchestra could play the piece perfectly while riverdancing! Many ‘serious’ musicians dream about being onstage and letting loose. It really is a different experience when seeing this group perform live and being able to feed off of the energy the crowd gives to the performers. While I might also be in the audience, as a performer, I know what it feels like to receive great audience feedback when you really strive to perform the best you can possibly perform. At a time when audiences for classical music have become smaller and smaller, the scores of college students and young children who know nothing about Bach are experiencing Igudesman and Joo’s main goal. The main goal is to bring back an audience that appreciates classical music but through comedy which is easy for anyone to enjoy. The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra is the only professional orchestra in Greensboro and performs major symphonic works and supports many professional musicians. The depth of the orchestra musicality was truly fascinating and it’s always interesting to watch an orchestra full of string instruments moving simultaneously with the music being performed. Performer/audience interaction made this show easy to sit through because it’s moments like those that add some variety and different atmosphere depending on the audience.

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Overall I was impressed by everyone’s hard work and production of the pieces performed at the “Big Nightmare Music” concert. It’s not often that people are able to experience live music performed by professional musicians. It’s definitely an eye opening experience to see how an audience will react, but in general a rewarding experience for the audience, performers, and composer.

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