About a Musical Concert at the Organ Recital Hall at Colorado State University
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I attended a musical concert at the Organ Recital Hall at Colorado State University on Tuesday, September 18th at 8am. I found myself astonished by the different styles of music performed. I appreciate the time and dedication the musicians took out of their time to help my class observe and analyze their recitations.
The first piece of music, Canzona per Sonare No. 2 by Giovanni Gabrielli, performed by the CSU Graduate Brass Quintet started the morning with a bright and enthusiastic tone. The Brass Quintet was comprised of 2 trumpets, a trombone, a French horn, and a tuba. As there was no conductor present to set tempo, I noticed each individual keeping their own tempo with their feet. I saw the tempo the tuba was playing at was a 4:4 pace. I thought the whole group played rather loud, so I’d place the dynamics at a fortissimo. I don’t think there’s a way of playing a quintet of brass instruments of that caliber in a soft tone. The tempo was pretty upbeat and lively, but not to a point of a vivo tempo. I’d place the overall tempo of the piece in the allegro area. At certain parts of the piece, I picked up on some decrescendos; which, were utilized to emphasize the trumpets in the soft portions of the piece. Overall this piece set a good tone for the start of the concert and lead perfectly into the next piece.
The next piece, Partita in a minor Allemande by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Michelle Stanley was a solo piece. She performed with her flute, and I noticed she warmed up a little before her rendition. This piece, as mentioned by Ms. Stanley, was an allemande which means it’s typically associated with dancing and upbeat performances. So, I’d classify this piece’s tempo in the allegro as well. The dynamics of the piece were at a medium tone or mezzo-forte. After close consideration, I’d put the overall time signature of the piece at a 4:4 pace. The piece gave off a gloomy timbre, reminding me of a cyclical sound repeating over and over in different variations of tone and tempo.
Michelle Stanley stayed on stage to perform another piece. She performed Syrinx by Claude Debussy. I was informed that this piece was incidental music, meaning that it is typically performed as kind of a soundtrack for a play. As with any woodwind instruments, the tone of the piece was played within the high ranges of the treble clef. This performance moved at faster tempo than the first one. I noticed the piece started slower, then transitioned fast into a quick crescendo. I thought the timbre had a sneaky association. The piece reminded me of a late-night situation, perhaps having to do with a scenario in a play. Overall the tempo too fast except for certain excerpts. I’d place it at moderato with jumps to allegro. I thought the two pieces by Ms. Stanley were well versed, and I enjoyed the time she took to answer questions at the end.
The last two pieces were performed by Mitch Smith as a solo cello performance. The first piece was Suite No. 3 in C major composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. Unlike the performances before, the cello relies on precise movements in a choppy rhythm that still culminates to create a smooth listening experience. To me string instruments always give off the impression of a soft dynamic, but after focusing on Mitch’s hand movements I would place the dynamic of the piece at a mezzo-forte. As the piece progressed the dynamics got stronger, and I noticed some crescendos used to highlight the growing presence of the cello. The last thing I noticed was some accent on the piece specifically staccato when he put shorter stress on the notes.
The last piece of the night was Prelude Allemande composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. Mitch Smith performed this piece solo along with his cello. Again, since it was an allemande piece, there was more of an upbeat tempo intended for some dancing or festive occasions. Right off the bat, I noticed a staccato when he played. The short and choppy sound caught my attention quite easily. I’d place the tempo at allegro since the music was lively and upbeat. The overall timbre of the piece made me feel warm and bright. Mitch seemed to have fun with this piece, and he picked to emulate the sounds of the western classical music we were studying at the time. The pace was fast, and I’d place it at a mezzo-forte like his other piece.
Overall, I enjoyed getting to see music performed live and not through a computer. The dedication that the different artists put into their music was apparent. In the q and a portions of the performance, the emotions of Ms. Stanley and Mitch gave a genuine feel and love for their craft. Although I don’t have much experience with musical theory, I feel this assignment and concert performance helped me get a better understanding of how to analyze music.
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