Concert Review: a String Concert at the Cooper Center Auditorium Located in the South Texas College Campus
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Today, on Monday, December 3rd, 2018, I attended a string concert at the Cooper Center Auditorium located in the South Texas College Campus. This performance was a Studio Recital for the Violin and Viola students of Dr. Lindsey Gamble and the Cello and Double Bass students of Mr. Patrick Hopkins. As mentioned in the program given to us upon entering, the first to play a violin solo was Roger Garza. He played the piece Bourree by J.S Bach. The first thing I heard was a monophonic piece that used both staccato and legato to create articulation. As he continued playing, he used a subtle but quick movement in his wrist to create vibrato. I also noticed dynamic changes overtime going from piano to mezzo-piano. Unfortunately, this piece did not interest me because it was so soft in sound and lacked a little bit of emotion.
The next piece was played by Delilah Ontiveros. This was also a violin solo, named Humoresque by Antonin Dvorak. As the piece started, I did not think it was difficult to play. It sounded very simple and straightforward. This solo also included vibrato and the use of legato and staccato. Since this was a solo, It was a monophonic piece. I noticed that there were tempo changes such as ritardando. Like the solo before I can definitely say that this piece had a mezzo-piano dynamic. I also believe that this piece was not anywhere near my taste of music, which is why I think it did not keep me interested for a long period of time. The third and final solo, and by far my favorite, was by a viola player named Analuisa Salvador. She played the piece named Apres Un Reve by Gabriel Faure. What caught my attention about this piece was that it was dark and somewhat sad. It seemed that maybe the song had a dark meaning or story behind it. It made me pretty emotional, and I loved that about it.
As I continued listening, like the two solos before, I heard the use of legato and staccato in a monophonic piece. Since it is a string instrument it also used vibrato. The next piece I found very interesting. It was a pair of instruments which were the double bass and piano. Chanson Triste by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was played by Alejandra Carbajal and Mr. Patrick Hopkins. This piece was homophonic because the cello was playing a solo with the accompaniment of the piano. It kept the same tempo marking at Andante and was also mezzo-piano. I can also say that it had gradual dynamic changes by getting loud and growing softer. The reason I found this piece interesting was because I didn’t think the two instruments did a good job of playing together, they sounded very distant and I don’t think they should have played together but maybe on their own. The last three pieces were played by the string ensemble. It included two cellos, five violins, two violas, and one double bass.
The first one played was Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048, 1 by J.S Bach. In this piece, I heard all three similar characteristics such as monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic melodies. They used both legato and staccato as well. There was so much vibrato being used because they are all string instruments. I would place this piece under the mezzo-forte dynamic because it was somewhat loud, and I also thought the music was very lively. I enjoyed this piece because it felt like fresh air compared to the solos before. It was energetic and upbeat. Another one similar to this piece was the next performance named Menuetto and Trio from Quartet in E and F major Op. 17, No. 1 and 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn. This piece, unlike the rest, had very balanced phrases. It was polyphonic and homophonic throughout the whole piece. It used staccato and legato as well. I also believe that this piece had backbeat which means that there are accents on two and four in a 4/4 meter.
I can confidently say that this was one of the most energetic performances there was. It was so alive and everyone on the stage seemed to be extremely involved physically and emotionally. The final piece was named Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This one also involved all three types of melodies which were homophonic, monophonic, and polyphonic. In this piece, there was also more legato than staccato. Like the previous piece, it had balances phrases. To end with this piece was unfortunately disappointing. It was too bland and boring for me, it did not take long for me to lose interest. I think they should have gone out with a bang.
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