26 February 2009

Stravinsky, Vivaldi, and Brahms

Yesterday was another night in which the UB Symphony Orchestra had a performance. I attended this concert due to the fact that my friend performs in it, and overall, it was a good night.

The program included Stravinsky's Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird; Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Trumpets, Strings, and Continuo; and Brahms' Symphony in E Minor.

I liked the first two pieces. The orchestra had a good time internalizing the piece. The Stravinsky had a great range of dynamics, and so the orchestra handled those differences quite well. It did a great job in painting the scene that was associated in the piece.

Then, there was the trumpet concerto. The two trumpeters did a good job as well, and even though the piece was rather old, and the orchestra was very small due to the fact that it was only written for strings and harpsichord, the sound was still very full and mature.

After the intermission, the Brahms symphony was performed. Here is where I started to doubt the musical quality. The Brahms symphony was very cerebral, dense, and difficult. I think the strings, especially those in the higher register, needed more practice, since there were times in which I think they needed to play together in a fast manner, and yet the notes just ended up being smooshed together, becoming indistinct. Brahms wrote very difficult complex pieces, and I think this orchestra was not yet ready for it.

(Chancery of South Korea, from my Embassy Row Series)

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