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Concert Report I
If you took away five minutes after seven, then the concert held on October twenty-first by Hunter College Symphony began on time. First on the program was Josef Haydn??™s Symphony in D major, No, 104. It opens with a slow and sanguine introduction that seems to weaver into a minor and major mode, perhaps within the same key signature. One can also distinguished that the first theme is recurring a little later in a different key suggesting a different movement or section. Accordingly, as each theme is introduced, the full force of the orchestra can be heard which comprises mainly of string and woodwind family.
From the guide, this piece is divided into four movements with varying tempo starting with slow, moderate, and then increasing in speed as it progresses. As the second movement begins, a deliberate modulation of key changes suggests relative scales as from major to its related minor and then vice versa. In the third movement, the woodwind can be heard more prominently, preferable the bassoon and maybe flute. Again, this section follows a series of key modulation that sets up a perfect return to the main recurring theme.
The exuberant finale is set to a much quicker tempo than the previous three, and the bass section of the orchestra became more dominant in volume and clarity. As the sound from this last section gains momentum, it reverberates, creating a masterful and equally forceful climax. The sound is distinct in the way it deviates from its repetitious theme, thereby grabbing the attention of the listener. Following the pronounced sound of the woodwind section, the conductor slowly unleash the orchestra resulting in a gradual build- up that ultimately results in the full synchronization of all the instruments into a powerful harmony. As the piece continues, it disperses intermittently with the interplay of the various instruments. I must admit that it was during this part of the proceeding that I was tempted to leave my seat and to give my feet some extra work, but then civility won, and I remained seated throughout the concert.
After a brief recess, the concert opens with Benjamin Britten??™s The Courtly Dances. According to the program guide, this piece called Gloriana, was commissioned to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II. Britten uses mainly simple triple meter to introduce two of the pieces that adds a nice and interesting contrast as against the regular simple quadruple and duple beats. Interestingly, another aspect he used in this composition is the percussion and brass instruments that create a march-like, motion effect to great advantage. Because the movement is uniformed, it does make it difficult for the listener to differentiate between the passages and the theme due to its signature and dancelike changes. Further, it was during this part of the concert that I was tempted to rise from my seat and to give my feet some extra work, however; civility won, and I remained seated towards the end of the preceeding.
Finnaly, the last part of the evening was George Handel??™s Music for the Fireworks. Again, from the guide, this piece set to compound time, which came to be known as a waltz. Handel, no doubt, the most prestigious of the three featured composers, integrate a unique technique of inter-relating different voices, masterful harmonic control and organization to create a distinct sound.