Tannya Trudeau 4135080
Musi200 D004 Fall10
15 January 2011
Concert Report: Mozart Symphony No. 40
The western classical concert that I have chosen to review is A Tale of Two Symphonies.
This concert is performed in the Avery Fisher hall within the Lincoln Center in New York City. It was performed on July 29, 2008. The orchestra that is performing is the 42nd Mostly Mozart Orchestra. The conductor is Louis Langrée. The two pieces being performed in this concert is Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
The first piece that was played was Mozart’s Symphony No.40. This is a beautiful piece of music. There are 38 players in the orchestra for this piece. And they all played beautifully together. I love the rich and sharp sounds of the violins they blended in well with the rest of the orchestra. The string set the mood for the rest of the song.
The second piece of music played was Das Lied von der Erde (song of the Earth) by composer Gustav Mahler. This is also a beautiful piece of work. There are fourteen players in the orchestra which is a chamber group for this piece which includes a piano and two keyboards side by side one is a celesta and the other is an organ. There are also two voices in this piece the first is tenor Paul Groves and soprano Anna Larson. The thing that I liked about this song is how the voices and the instruments coordinate so well with one and other. Another thing I liked was hearing the horns in the very beginning of the song.
I feel that the thirty eight performers that performed in the first piece which was Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in G minor did an exceptional job. They had perfect rhythm and pitch throughout the whole song. The outcome of having perfect pitch produced a beautiful melody. This song was rich with texture. I also am impressed with the fact that the conductor Louis Langrée conducted this piece from memory without using any sheet music. This is a perfect example of a classical orchestra at its very best.
Now as far as the second piece that was played in this concert, which was Lied von der Erde (song of the Earth) by composer Gustav Mahler. I feel that the fourteen members of chamber orchestra and the two vocalists did an outstanding job. This piece was well put together. I loved the harmony that was brought forth between the orchestra and the vocalists. The two vocalists a tenor known as Paul Groves and a soprano known as Anna Larson, did a beautiful job staying in tune. The way that their voices went back and forth in harmony was just beautiful.
Although I enjoyed both pieces of music I really enjoyed the works of Gustav Mahler and his piece Lied von der Erde. This piece is rich in drama. I feel that the texture used is this song is imitative polyphony. I feel that there are various parts in this song that use the similar melodies. I feel that the harmony between the two vocalists were right on with each other and the orchestra. You can hear the brass instruments in the very beginning of the songs then the strings, wind instruments along with the piano and keyboards begin to make their entrance. They come together very strong but in a peaceful way at first. Towards the middle of the song the tempo and rhythm really picks up (it seems as if all of their emotions are bursting out) then it slowly begins to drop back to slower movements. You can really hear the strings during this time. But surprisingly enough just when you think the song is going to end boom your hit again. This song keeps you on the edge of your seat. This song is very entertaining. I feel that the style of this music is that of the late romantic era.
From what I understand the history on this song is not pretty. This song is a song of death. According to what I have read Gustav Mahler was always worried about death. When Mahler wrote this piece of music he was faced with death, because his daughter had just passed away and he was diagnosed with an incurable heart problem. Das Lied von der Erde was a form of six songs with in a symphony which came from Chinese poetry. This was the first of three that he was working on he called this his farewell trilogy. His final three works were his symphony No.9 and 10 which he never got to finish.
According to this article while Mahler was composing this symphony in 1909 he became very superstitious and refused to call this trilogy a symphony because he felt that if anyone tried to outdo Beethoven and write more than nine symphonies then that composer would be setting his own doom. Unfortunately Gustav Mahler died before he ever got to hear Das Lied von der Erde be performed there for he also never got to finish his Symphony No. 10.
The thing that struck me most about this song was the way you can feel the emotions running through this piece. Both the orchestra and the two vocalists did an outstanding job making you feel what Mahler was feeling and that was sadness and grief and even some peacefulness which I believe came from the soft tones of the vocals and the music itself. This song made me feel sad for Gustav Mahler. But it also made me feel as if he was finally coming to grips with death. I felt that both the orchestra and the two vocalists did a great job on making you feel as if Mahler was right in the room with you having you go through each emotion as he was when he wrote this beautiful piece of music.
http://www.npr.org/ Mostly Mozart Festival in Concert A Tale of Two Symphonies/author Tom Huizenga (date accessed January 14, 2011)