Category Archives: Concert Preview

Preview – Faure,Rossini, and Beethoven at Carnegie Hall (4/7)

Pieces:

  • Gabriel Faure – Requiem in D Minor, Op.48
  • Gioachino Rossini – Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op.51

Venue: Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, Manhattan, NY

Performers: New England Symphonic Ensemble, Joanna Medawar Nachef (Guest Conductor), Giuseppe Lanzetta (Guest Conductor), Amy Shoremount-Obra (Soparano vocalist), Toufic Maatouk (Bass-baritone vocalist), and 12 participating choruses from California and Lebanon

http://youtu.be/tmrQHRnT4Mw

 

According to Emile Vuillermozs’ book entitled Gabriel Faure, “Requiem, Op.48” is described as “an absolutely unique work….the only one of its kind”(Vuillermoz 1960,74). When first listening to this piece, I was struck by the minor key which immidiately gave a melancholic theme. The libretto in general, is initially dominated by the soprano vocals within the main theme. The baritone voices are introduced at a moment when a new theme is introduced, and is again brought back to the main theme with the soprano vocals. Halfway into the Requiem there is a big shift in theme and the key is now in a major. It has a more uplifting quality, compared to the somber theme in the first half.

Gabriel Faure is probably most recognized for this piece. Unlike Mozart’s or Monteverdi’s Requiems, Faure has created a piece that has no religious or musical connections to past Requiems. Faure was not a religious man, yet designed this piece in a way that respected the views of religious people.

Sources: Vuillermoz, Emile. Gabriel Faure. Philidephia: n.p., 1960. Print.

 

 

Fredrick Chopin’s Piano Concert Review

Pieces:

  • Chopin Etude Op. 25 Number 1
  • Nocturne in C Op. 27 Number 1

Venue:

  • Baruch Performing Arts Center NY

Performing:

  • New York Piano Society

 

The first etude of Op. 25 set was soft, A Flat Major theme. It carries out the melody and plays the arpeggiated grace notes smoothly. After following multiple variations and modulations, the original melody returns and the piece finishes with a series of upward arpeggios. This Piece was published in 1837 and was a painted melody picture of his life during that time. Also, during this time period Chopin recently had his engagement called off by his fiancés mother. His music portrayed his emotions.

Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor (the first) was composed in variety. The piece contains a calm deep melody that could be seen as being the mood of night and mystery. Suddenly, a change occurs to violent music that is passionate and of a different meter and tempo.

 

Boehm, Volker. “Biography for Fredrick Chopin.” IMDB.com. IMDB. Web. 8 Apr 2013. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006004/bio>.

Mieczyslaw, Tomaszewksi. “Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, OP.27 No.1.” The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Narodwy Intytut Fryderyka Chopina, n.d. Web. 8 Apr 2013.

Yu, Fred. “Music Analysis.” Ourchopin. N.p.. Web. 8 Apr 2013. <http://www.ourchopin.com/analysis/etude25.html>.

Preview – Mozart, Glazunov and Cesar Franck at Nicholas Roerich Museum(3/17)

Pieces:

*Alexander Glazunov, Mediatation for violin and piano, Op.32
*Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sonata in B flat. 454 for violin and piano
*Cesar Franck, Sonata for violin and piano

Venue: Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, NY 10025

Performers: Marti Sweet, violin Christopher Oldfather, piano

Mozart was always supported by his father Leopold. On April 29 1784, Mozart plays the Violin Sonata k454 with Regina Strinacchi, for whom it was written at the Karntnertor Theater in the presence of Joseph II(Clive 993, 4).Mozart admired Regina who was an Italian violinist and Leopold was impressed by the she plays each note with feeling In that time just the violin was written out( 149). Mozart dedicated the first edition of the sonatas K284/205b, 333/315c and 454, published together by Christopher Toricella who was a Swiss publisher and art dealer in Vienna in 1784( 129 ).In the city of Vienna is where Mozart received better income from concerts and composed twelve of his greatest piano concerts(Davies 1989, 53).Also it is where he contracted the illness, which later caused his death. During his illness he completed the Piano Concerto in B flat(54 ). Mozart’s sonata was a lively melody, putting his most profound feelings in the rhythm. In my opinion even though sonatas are happy in this one he was going through tough moments and in his music probably he highlighted throughout the motive.

Cesar Frank, german but French at heart was leader of the French musical renaissance (Vallas 1951,194 ). Minor revolution in musical taste, Frank finished in 1886 the Sonata for violin and piano.(199) During the autumn of 1886 appeared in a wedding. The violin Sonata was played two months later in the Frank festival of Brussels (196) The program consisted entirely of Cesar Frank’s composition, interpreter Mme Bordes-Pene(196). Festival was a success, as per the Director of the Brussels Conservatoire said “You have transferred chamber music; thanks to you a new vision of the future has revealed to our eyes”(196).Cesar’s Frank music seems to be like Mozart in the enlightment,changing rythms and other tradicional features.
Written more than sixty years ago the Violin and Sonata has become Frank’s most popular work ( 9 ).” The Violin Sonata has four movements: 1st allegrato in normal form, 2nd allegro two main themes developed with personal feeling, 3rd irregular and entirely free in its musical progress recitative, quai fantasia, finale for the most part concerned with a plain and flexible canon and is directed to be played allegretto poco mosso(199). Franck produces rhythmic and melodic decoy that leads us on against our wills, he found this until he wrote on paper (199).

I would have wanted to know before going to the concert the reason of each of the compositions and their specific talent so I could have had a better understanding of what I would hear and why they had such success. History and biography are very important because the music and the instruments used are those of the time and also the compositions are done guided by the personal circumstances of each composer.

Bibliography

Clive,Peter.”Mozart and his Circle”United Kingdom:The Orion Publishing Group,1993
Davies J.,Peter. “Mozart in Person” New York: Greenwood Press,Inc.,1989
Vallas,Leon.”Cesar Franck”, London: first published in 1951 ed. George g. Harrap & Co.Ltd, 1951

Preview- http://www.nypianosociety.org/gallery-multimedia/videos/

Pieces:

  • Chopin Etude Op. 25 Number 1
  • Nocturne In C Op. 27 Number 1

Venue:

  • Baruch Performing Arts Center NY

Performers:

  • New York Piano Society

 

The New York Piano Society, preforming at Baruch College, is preforming two pieces by composer Frederic Chopin. These two pieces are Etude Op. 25, No. 1 and Nocturnes, Op. 27. Etude Op. 25 is a solo piano work and Nocturnes, Op. 27 are two solo piano works.

Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 1 starts with a one note theme, which develops into the notes becoming wider and longer apart and jumps become numerous, making it very difficult to carry any sort of main melody. However, the piece ends with a series of upward arpeggios. This piece, publish in 1837, was very reflective of Chopin’s life around this time period. According to Frederick Chopin’s biography on the IMDB website, in 1835 he became very ill, which can be seen in this piece in the middle during the deep and dark long notes to represent the dark phase of his life that he was going through when he was increasingly ill. However, according to the same biography on IMDB, in 1836, Chopin became well again and met a 17-year-old Polish girl who he eventually proposed to. This is seen at the end of the piece by the series of upward arpeggios that represent hopefulness and positivity.

Chopin’s second piece being preformed by the New York Piano Society is Nocturnes, Op. 27. The opening of this piece starts with a series of arpeggios that alternate between major and minor chord, which make for a very dark and gloomy opening. A first theme is introduced, and then a second one is introduced and then the piece ends by repeating the first. In Chopin’s biography on IMDB, in 1836 when this piece was published was also around the time that Chopin had become enemies with a former friend Franz Liszt and then created a new friendship with Hector Berlioz. This is reflective in the piece by the dark opening but is also created with two different themes to show the new friendship with Berlioz.

 

 

Boehm, Volker. “Biography for Frederick Chopin.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

preview- My Time, My Music at New York Carnegie Hall (4/5/2013)

Pieces:

  • RAYMOND J. LUSTIG Latency Canons (World Premiere)
  • DU YUN Slow Portraits (film by David Michalek) (World Premiere)
  • DAN VISCONTI Glitchscape (World Premiere)
  • JUDITH SAINTE CROIX Vision V (World Premiere)
  • TROY HERION New York City Symphony (film by Troy Herion) (World Premiere)

Performers:

  • American Composers Orchestra George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor
  • Dane Lam, Remote Conductor
  • Gildas Quartet, Remote Musicians
  • Sonora Trio
  • Simon Tarr, Live Visuals

Date: April 05 2013

Venue: Carnegie Hall, Manhattan, NY

Video:

http://youtu.be/KHXwwqQLdmc

http://youtu.be/KtIVAvrfeXg

Preview – Faust at The Metropolitan Opera (04/02)

Venue: Metropolitan Opera, Manhattan, NY

Performers: Composer: Charles Gounod, Librettist: Jules Barber and Michel Carre, Conductor: Alain Altinoglu, Faust: Piotr Beczala, Marguerite: Marina Poplavskaya, Valentin: Alexey Markov, Mephistopgeles: John Relyea.

 

http://youtu.be/pxhNdWKwE0Q

Gounod in his autobiography says, “In a word, Morality (or the definition of what is good), Science (or the definition of what is true), Art (or the definition of what is beautiful) well all lacking until the advent of Man.” (Gounod, 226). I wish before i went to see the opera i had read about Gounod’s history. In his autobiography I see that he found balance of life very important. As a child he would try to run away from doing chores in order to do what he loved, compositions. However, in his autobiography you can see that although he loved composing, he also took time to dedicate his time to other things, such as religion.
Faust is about a scientist that regrets his life when he is old because he feels like he didn’t do much with it. Gounod says that “Morality, Art, and Science were developed to become better by man.” (Gounod, 226) However, in Faust, Faust is regretful because even though he dedicated his time to something that was important to the success of man, he lacked morality and the experience of beauty. You can see how he lacks morality when he made a pact with the devil to become young again. In this opera i believe Charles wanted to show audiences how taking essence of different aspects of life is important to live a fulfilling life. He showed through Faust how concentrating only one aspect of your life and ignoring others can lead to being regretful. Faust after making a deal with the devil shows no improvement in quality of life because he lost the woman he loved and he is still unhappy. Gounod through his music moved the crowd to feeling how he wanted us to feel. When he wanted us to feel sad he used slow, low pitched notes, and when he wanted us to feel slightly cheerful he used faster notes, and added woodwinds.
Faust was written in the 19th century and the setting of it took place in the 16th century. In the 19th century the theory of evolution was introduced. In this century, people turned to reason rather than faith because science began explaining how things in life worked. In making these discoveries, people began believing more in reason and science, rather than religion. Knowing this, I wonder if Gounod composed this play in a way to enlighten people on the importance of embracing all aspects of life, not just one like Faust did.
I believe this piece sets it aside to others because the central message continues to be relevant. I believe that his central message was to not only engage in one aspect of life, and explore all opportunities while you have the chance. In the beginning of Faust, he shows how it regretful not taking advantage of life can be. This opera was extremely moving through the music, and the themes.
Souces: Gounod, Charles. Charles Gounod; Autobiographical Reminiscences. New York: Da Capo., 1970.

Preview – Jasper String Quartet (04/26/13)

Pieces:

  • HAYDN String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2
  • HINDEMITH Selections from Minimax
  • BEETHOVEN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 18, No. 4

Venue:

LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
LaGuardia Community College
The Little Theatre
31-10 Thomson Avenue | Queens

Performers: Jasper String Quartet
·· J Freivogel, Violin
·· Sae Chonabayashi, Violin
·· Sam Quintal, Viola
·· Rachel Henderson Freivogel, Cello

Preview – Alexander String Quartet performs Mozart and Shostakovich (4/25)

Pieces

  • Dmitri Shostakovich, String Quartet No.7 in F sharp major, Op. 108
  • Wolgang Amadeus Mozart, String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590

Venue: Baruch Performing Arts Center – Newman Vertical Campus
Baruch College: 25th St. (bet. 3rd and Lexington Aves.), NYC

Performers: Alexander String Quartet

Wolgang Amadeus Mozart, String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 was the last piece of the three quartets in “Prussian Quartets” that were composed for the King of Prussia, Frederick William II. The style of the quartet was similar to the styles of Joseph Haydn. The Quartet was played for the king on May 26, 1789. The piece is consist of four movements which are Allegro, Andate, Menuetto, and Allegro.

Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108 was composed when he was 54 years old in 1960 for his first wife Nina Vassilyevna Varzar who died in December 1954. The piece is only consist of three movements which are Allegretto, Lento, and Allegro. This was considered to be the shortest of all Dmitri Shostakovich quartets. The quartet is about 13 minutes long and was played with two violins, viola and a cello. What is really interesting is that for the performance, the Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108 will be played F sharp major instead of F major minor which would I find amusing because it can change the whole mood of the piece.

Source:

Pauly, Reinhard G. Music in the Classical Period. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1988. Print

Moshevik, Sofia. Dmitri Shostakovich, Pianist. Canada: Mc-Grill Queens University Press, 2004

Preview – Alexander String Quartet performs Mozart and Shostakovich Baruch College (4/25/13)

Pieces:

  • W.A. Mozart:  String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590
  • Dmitri Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108

Venue: Baruch Performing Arts Center – Newman Vertical Campus
Baruch College: 25th St. (bet. 3rd and Lexington Aves.), NYC

Performers: Alexander String Quartet

Performed at Baruch’s Performing Arts Center, the Alexander String Quartet is performing the two pieces W.A. Mozart:  String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590 and the piece Dmitri Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108.

The final string quartet of Mozart was to have been the third of six composer intended to dedicate to King Frederick William the 2nd of Prussia, a cello playing monarch.Shortly after entering the F major Quartet in his thematic catalo, Mozart told Puchberg in a further letter that he had been “obliged” to give away the quartets “for a mere song in order to have cash in hand to meet my present difficulties.” Along with its two companions, K. 590 has been generally regarded by commentators as being less successful than the great set of six “Haydn” quartets composed. Artaria’s advertisement for the “Prussian” quartets describes them as “concertante quartets. At the movement’s end, the coda restates the development, gracefully winds down, and ends on a witty high note.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108 was composed in the 1960s for the memorial of his first wife who died in 1954. It was premiered in Leningrad by Beethoven Quartet and consist of three movements with no breaks. The three movements are Allegretto, Lento, and Allegro. The String Quartet no. 7 in F sharp minor, OP 108, completed in March 1960, is the shortest of all Shostakovich’s quartets lasting only about 13 minutes.The three and a half minute second movement opens with a rising, then falling, four-note motif played on the muted second violin.

Bibliography:

Music for silenced voice : Shostakovich and his fifteen quartets / Wendy Lesser. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2011

Recognition in Mozart’s operas / Jessica Waldoff. New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011, c2006.