The orchestra concert I have to evaluate and discuss is interesting and unique because it represents a wonderful combination of the works by such great composers like Strauss and Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg and Barber. Their compositions are magnificent indeed and make their listeners to enjoy each sound and each instrument.
Richard Strauss’ Serenade in Eb for Winds, Op. 7 is a generous combination of 13 winds: flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and one contrabassoon. The genre of chamber music that is inherent to this very composition provides the listener with a chance to be involved into a new world, full of emotions and feelings. This serenade is performed in major, and the use of compound meter makes it possible to hear polyphonic motives, which cannot leave indifferent any person, however also prove Straus’ lack of experience with the use of double bass that has to support the final accord. While listening this composition, I imagine that I open a door and enter a new world, where nature fights with people and tries to persuade that it is important to respect each living being in this world, and at the end, a kind of alternative is achieved, where people start enjoying and respecting nature and the world they live in.
Samuel Barber’ Violin Concerto, Op. 14 is one of the greatest compositions, created at the end of the 1930s. The whole composition lasts 22 minutes and is divided into three amazing movements, characterized by different forms: allegro molto moderato, andante sostenuto, and perpetuum mobile. The first movement introduces the violin solo in the sonata form, and the piano background serve as an appropriate addition to the story, offered by the violin. Amazing tone and captivating intonation learn how it is necessary to be consistent with each move and with each breath. In spite of the fact that the movement is lyrical and minor, it properly follows each concerto tradition and represents a monophonic motive that captures ear and mind.
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33 by Peter Tchaikovsky is unique dues to its composer’s unbelievable approach to its creation. Two versions of this composition were offered by Peter Tchaikovsky: one for cello and orchestra of 18 instruments, and another for cello and piano.
I got a chance to listen to the second version and be amazed with its structure, form, and motive. The major key, moderate tempo, and homophonic motives make this composition pleasant to listen and analyze. This version is quicker and faster than the version for cello and orchestra; the sequence of variations is changed, and the structures are alerted. The motives remind me a kind of play between a cat and a mouse, where the result of this game is hard to predict.
Arnold Schoenberg created a wonderful composition Verklarte Nacht in 1899, basing on Richard Dehmenl’s work of the same name. It was for violas, violins, and cellos. However, with time it was revised for string orchestra, and in 1943, a new version of composition Verklarte Nacht: String Orchestra Version appeared.
This arrangement for string orchestra consists of four movements: grave, poco adagio, adagio, and motto tranquillo. The genre of classical music opens for me in a new world, because its forms and motive provoke the most unexpected feelings. A major key and dynamics of composition underline the use of compound meter and the cooperation of several violins and cellos.