A Review of UCR Chamber Music Performance The following is a review of the performance by Music Department of University of California Riverside on February 19, 2014 at Culver Center of the Arts. It featured musical compositions by Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, Alec Wilder, Joaquin Turina and Ludwig van Beethoven. The first piece performed was Sonata in A Major for Strings, op post. The original composer was Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). The timber of the music was Grave, meaning that is sounds serious and is played slowly, and there were three movements- the first was Allegro, a faster variation; the second was Adagio, a slower version and the third was Allegro back again.
Corelli mainly composed for the violin and his music is instantly recognizable for its lilting and lifting spirit in the background. The movement to Adagio in the middle of this performance was noticeable and distinct (Corelli, Sonata in A Major for Strings). The second performance was Motet for Soprano and Strings as composed originally by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). This composition in particular was created around the year 1720. Vivaldi was one of the most famous composers of Baroque music.
Here the piece performed is in praise of Jesus Christ (Vivaldi, Motet). There were noticeable movements or shifts of tempo in this piece- from Allegro to Recitative to Largo to Allegro back again. The recitative piece was performed by Ms. Camelia Voin, a professional soprano who has both local and international fame. It had been translated from the original Italian to English in the program brochure, enabling the audience to enjoy and appreciate the words and spirit in which it was written, or rather meant to be enjoyed.
In my opinion, Viorel Gheorghe did an excellent job of conducting this performance. He is founder of the Lyric Symphony Orchestra and an oboist as well. The movements were fluid and lucid, the sound of the instruments blending into each other, yet it was possible to identify the contribution of each instrument. It was enthralling and mesmerizing at the same time, causing the audience to be awed and humbled, and the applause that followed the performance was evidence of their approval. What followed next was a refreshing change to air based instruments as Suite for Oboe and Horn was performed.
We owe this creation to composer Alec Wilder (1907-1980), one of the modern contemporary musicians of the 20th century. Movements II, III and IV were performed, dating from 1975. Somber with a touch of jazz- this quite changed the mood of the audience to become more relaxed and less serious. The change in tone was discernable and so was the audience’s mood (Wilder, Suite). The next performance for the evening was the Quartet in A Minor for Piano and Strings, op 67 composed by Joaquin Turina (1882-1949) around 1931.
Here we have a splendid example of how piano can accompany stringed instruments. Classical and contemporary all at once, this consists of three movements- Lento, Vivo and Andante. Lento is slow, Vivo is lively and Andante is a walking tempo. The music of Turina has an air of mystery about it, as if it is telling a story of its own. This is especially evident in the first and last movements.
The piano plays an alternating role of leading and following the stringed instruments. In the second movement, sound of piano is uppermost and clearly in the lead role, yet in the last it is first the violin that dominates the beginning of the proceedings. Turina’s music is exciting and invites one to listen on- as if a story is unfolding. It is enjoyable and light of feeling, yet interesting. The connection between the three movements is evident and discernable but we keep returning to a common theme of sorts. It closes with the piano and violin taking centre stage (Turina, Quartet). The last piece for the evening was the Quintet for Piano and Winds in E Flat Major, Op.
16 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and was composed around 1797.It consists of three movements-Grave, Andante and Rondo. At first it is the violin that is most evident but the piano takes centre stage later on. It is ballroom music and carries Beethoven’s signature style with the undertones of piano most evident (Beethoven, Quintet for Piano and Winds). Yet for me, the music of Joaquin Turina was most appealing.
. Works Cited Beethoven, Ludwig van. Quintet for Piano and Winds in E Flat Major, Op. 16 (1797). Print. Corelli, Arcangelo. Sonata in A Major for Strings, op post. (undated). Print. Turina, Joaquin. Quartet in A Minor for Piano and Strings, op 67.(1931). Print. Vivaldi, Antonio. Motet for Soprano and Strings (1720). Print. Wilder, Alec. Suite for Oboe and Horn (1975). Print.
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