INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN MUSIC
SAMPLE CONCERT REPORT
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On October 15 I attended a concert by the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The performance consisted of only two pieces, yet both were met with enthusiastic applause and praise. The first piece performed was the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, by Piotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, with the famous violinist Midori as the featured soloist. The piece was divided into three movements, the first being Allegro moderato. The Concerto opened with the orchestra playing a crescendo until the appearance of the soloist, who presented the principle themes. From this point,
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It was much longer in duration than the first piece. It showed uniqueness in that it incorporated everyday sounds into the music, such as bulge calls, bird songs, and dance tunes, which provided for a very wide variety of tone colors. The symphony began with a thick-textured undertone in the strings and a two-note “hunting call” in the woodwinds, which persisted throughout the piece. Also present was a bright fanfare in the trumpets, followed by a light descending melody played by the entire orchestra. After this movement, all the instruments began playing a strong fortissimo beat, which gradually increased the tension, leading up to a muted trumpet solo. The strings dominated the remainder of the movement, with a strong legato melody passed from the ’cellos to the violins, and, finally, to the basses. The third movement could be classified by the increasing significance of the drums, who moved the orchestra along in a clear duple meter. Their presence became less important after a ritardando, which brought back the light melody to the woodwinds. Throughout this movement, imitative polyphony was the predominant texture as the melody created in the woodwinds was echoed by various other instruments. This portion was characterized by its dark and somber tone. The absence of the drums heard earlier left a weak beat and a suppressed meter.
The finale began with a restatement of parts of the opening movement, which moved to a brass