I had an opportunity to attend a concert by the University Symphony Orchestra. The university orchestra was the only performer of the day. And it performed “An Evening of Handel, Schubert, and Haydn” on 0ctober 4th. The concert was held at the school’s Boss Recital room. The look of the architecture of the room is awesome with an organ at the back wall and various little intricate designs on the walls. Stepping into the room felt like stepping in the architecture’s mind. The room was crowded as I had expected and on the stage was seated the orchestra. The orchestra also as usual consisted of many violinists, cellists, violists, brass players and percussionists. Also present were the trumpeters, harp players, oboe players, pianist, and a drummer. Every member of the orchestra was neatly dressed; men in black tuxedos and women in black dresses or pants.
The concert master come to the stage to tune the orchestra giving way to the conductor who came to the stage, introduced as well as gave a brief description of the music that was to be played
The first symphony was the overture to Music for the royal Fireworks is a composition made during the Baroque era. Not only is its genre a suite but the music also poses a homophonic texture. It takes a range of instruments such as chordophone, aerophones and membranophones to create the piece. Wind instruments such as the bassoon, French horn, oboe and the trumpet could be heard clearly. The stringed instruments; violin, viola, double brass and the cell added to the tune which was punctuated by percussion instruments especially the timpani.
The movement was broken down into 4 sections characterized by distinct tempos: Adagio, allegro, Lentamente, allegro. Adagio is a section that starts with a slow introduction at what is referred to as mezzo forte dynamic. The section is part of the major key set within the quadruple meter. The section has a varied range of ascending melody. There are some brief cadences as the section develops into a crescendo. In this section there is an aspect of loudness meant to capture the attention of the listener as well as make the mood pounding and joyous. The loudness and energy of this section holds the attention of the listener and creates a proud and joyful mood. The section gives way to the second section, allegro, which takes of at a messopiono dyname phase or level. The allegro is in triple meter, played in the major key and very conjunct in pace. The melody has an ascending shape as it moves in a crescendo. The fast tempo of this section creates an exciting and energetic mood. The Lentement section has a slow pace and is played in a minor key. It is homophonic and in duple meter. The tempo creates a smooth and relaxing mood. The section contains a decrescendo and is conjunct with a relatively narrow range. When the section comes to a close the allegro section is repeated.
The orchestra also played the Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor. This Symphony was composed in the Romantic period. During its play, the instruments that were; outstanding were the oboe, flute, bassoon, and trombone all of the aerophone family; double bass, viola, violin and cello of the chordophone family. The tunes texture was nice and homophonic. The symphony is divided into only two parts or rather two movement, the Allegro moderato and Andante con moto. The allegro moderato take the form of sonata-allegro. Two themes were presents with the movement in a triple meter within the minor key. This part opens on a soft mostly piano dynamic level and develops in a crescendo. It is conjunct general with a narrow range which eventually widens at it expands at latter stages. The softness that characterizes the symphony at the start serves to form a dramatic environment full of emotion. Such a movement shows a recapitulation i.e. the restatement of the themes because two main themes normally recur through out the piece.
Next is piece was the Haydn’s symphony No. 94 played in G major. The symphony was composed during the classical period and has s homophonic texture. It is performed with a wide range of instruments and during its performance the following instruments were impressively played; aerophones mainly included, the French horn, obo, the bassoon and the trumpet; chordophones included the viola, double bass, violin and cello while the most notable membernophone was the timpani. The symphony has three movements which were impressive played by the orchestra. The movements include Adagio cantabile-vivace assai, andante, Menuette and Finale. Adagio cantabile-vivace assai and andante start slowly at the introductory level and proceeds to a quick temple or allegro. The movement’s dynamics are not static but keep changing start at piano, then rising to mezzo piano. It melody has an ascending shape or a crescendo. This takes the sonata-allegro taking of in a triple meter and later changes to a compound meter when it reaches the allegro. The movement presents two themes in wide ranges. The melody has numerous and distinct cadences that create an atmosphere of spontaneity and make listeners unable to determine what to expect. However, these movements have a peaceful and exciting mood. The andante also has a theme and its form varies too. For instance the form varies from A, A1, A2, A3 and A4. It is in a duple meter and all or most of the variations are played in the major key apart for the A2 variation. The movement throughout the variations is disjunct and has a wide range with the melodies shifting between crescendo and diminuendo. The dynamics of this part also vary or keep changing beginning with piano and shifting to forte suddenly, which is an element of surprise. The theme here has numerous variations which are played pianissimo. The trio movement of the minuet is in three parts also known as ternary and s performed in a triple meter. This has a melody that is dancelike, creating mood that is happy and cheerful. Just like the other melodies this melody starts on a range that is narrow but later expands as the music progresses. Also, few instruments are played in the trio as compared to the Minuet and the dynamics which swell in a crescendo are mezzoforte. In the last part, the Finale, the movement is a duple meter. It is played on the major key and moves conjunctly together with an ascending theme. The movement has little distinct cadences and has a tendency of sticking to the main themes. Also, it tempo is fast and makes the mood exiting and cheerful.
I really enjoyed this concert. It was really surprising and amazing to witness such organization and performance take place. The classical concert was a success. It was intriguing to see the concertmaster prepare the orchestra and the conductor take over and lead the orchestra. It was a positive experience.