On February 8, 2000 I attended a concert presented by the Festival Chamber Music Society. The performers were a string quartet and a French horn. Eriko Sato is a violinist who has won the Tibor Varga International competition and has appeared as a soloist with the Louisville and Tokyo Imperial orchestras. Laurie Smukler is also a violinist. She is a graduate of Juliard where she studied with Ivan Galamian. She was also a founding member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. Ruth Sommers was the director and the cellist. She too is graduate of Julliard and studied with Leonard Rose and Harvey Shapiro.
Steven Taylor play the oboe. He is a member of the Chamber music Society of Lincoln Center and Speculum Musicae. Ira Weller plays the Oboe. He is also a founder of the Mendessohn String Quartet. He is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has toured with them throughout the world. The first piece we heard was by Joseph Haydn. It was String Quartet in C , Op 76, No 3 “Emporer”. He was born in Rohrau, Austria. Composers like Mozart and Beethoven were influenced by his style. Classical chamber music is meant to be listened to in a small setting.
So I found the concert hall to be inappropriate. But it served the purpose. The beginning of the piece was allegretto. But after a few minutes, it became adagio, then it became allegro once again. The pitch was relatively high. Some notes were played in a staccato form. This added variation to this piece. But most of them were played legato which provided the unity At the end of the piece, I detected a cadence but I wasn’t sure if it was a mistake or a finale. I enjoyed this piece a lot. It resembles dinner music. There was no contrast that was obvious to me.Order now
Although I had never heard it prior to this concert, I would probably purchase it and play it during dinner. On Thursday April 13th, I went to the 2000 Spring Concert, which was held on The Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University in the St. Paul the Apostle Church. The performers were The Combined University Choirs and The Bronx Art Ensemble. The Conductor was Robert Minotti. They performed the oratorios Ave Verum Corpus Mozart , American Folk hymns like Amazing Grace and another famous oratorio, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Requiem. The first selection we heard was Ave Verum Corpus.
I had never heard this piece before and as I listened I found it to be very soothing. The vocalists were complimented by the music that accompanied them. It was a soothing piece and was sung in Latin. I had trouble keeping up with the translation in the program because the annunciation of the choir was poor. But it sounded so beautiful. The resonance of sound in the St Paul the Apostle Church is amazing. I was surrounded by the sound of the choir. It was quite different in my opinion from a concert hall. To me the sound seemed to be coming right out of the wall. Perhaps the church had great acoustics.
The first thing that came into my mind was the Gregorian Chants. Although that had no musical accompaniment, I found that the changes in pitch and dynamics were similar. Overall, this oratorio had a very high pitch and a soft dynamic. The melody in the instrumental were legato, or smooth and connected. Towards the end of the piece there was a cadence and then a ritardando. Amazing Grace was sung by a tenor and was done a cappella. This was not the first time I heard this obviously; in fact I actual sang it once with a chorus in high school. I enjoyed this very much.
I found that as the tenor sang there was ascension in pitch. What especially stood out for me was the part when he sang “I once was lost, but now am found”. When he sang “I once was lost” I noticed there was a decrescendo and then a crescendo when he began singing “but now am found”. Another song that was performed was by a quartet composed of females; two sopranos and two altos. It was called How Can I Keep From Singing? I enjoyed this very much. I am beginning to think that the reason I liked these two songs was because of the fact that they are in a language I understand and it makes me biased.
After the intermission, we listened to the performance of Requiem. The first few notes that played, I immediately knew that I heard this before. The whole time I was listening to this I was trying to recall where I heard this before. Then I remembered. There is a movie entitled Amadeus, which is of course about Mozart’s life. Requiem played during the scene where Mozart was on his deathbed composing that very piece. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791 lived during the classical period of music. He was born in Salzburg, Austria and was a child prodigy.
He played different instruments such as the harpsichord and violins and he read music perfectly at first sight. Mozart was commissioned to do the requiem by an anonymos letter. But he grew sick and as his health worsened he began to believe the mass was for him. He never finished it. He died of Rheumatic fever. It was finished by a friend and pupil named franz Sussmayer . The mass does seem fitting now that I know the translation. It seems fitting now that I know the translation. It is a mass for the dead. “Grant them eternal rest, O Lord. ” I could have deduced this.
My first impression of requiem was dismall. To me, the strings stood out. When the chorus would complete a sentence the violins would reply almost as if to confirm what was being sung. It seemed similar to an Amen shouted out by a congregation. But again, I found the annunciation to be poor so it was hard to follow. I also thought the instruments were very loud and almost drowned the choir out at times. It was a powerful performance. There were different pieces within Requiem. Kyrie was a piece that had many dissonant chords. It gave an impression of chaos. So did the fact that it was fortissimo.
The dissonance did achieve consonance at the end of Kyrie. There is another movement that is apart of the Requiem entitled Offertorium. This piece is vastly different from the initial Requiem and Kyrie. It differs in dynamics and in pitch. It was higher in pitch and was not as loud. The choir sounded humble. I heard more female voices than men. They sounded as if they were sopranos or mezzo sopranos. This would attribute to the change in pitch. I recognized the text of Agnus Dei from class. The final part of Requiem was a recapitulation of the first part of part.
This gave the piece a sense of unity. I could have guessed without the translation from the program that that would be the end simply because of the recap. There was obviously a great difference in the pieces performed at the two concerts that I attended. The fact that one was instrumental and the other was oratorio was the major difference. But I did detect some similarities between the Haydn piece and the Ave Verum Corpus piece. I found the stings to be sound similar in pitch and dynamic. Both were high pitched and soft in dynamics. Overall, I did enjoy the first concert much more than the second.