Concert Report

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For this concert report I chose to go to a performance of student composers held at the Kimball Recital Hall. I chose this one because I wanted to see some of the talent that my peers have in the music realm, and also it was one of the only concerts I have been able to attend because I usually work at night. It was impressive to hear pieces composed by students. I cannot imagine creating something as complex as a musical composition, much less actually performing it, so this aspect of the concert was particularly awe-inspiring. There was a large attendance, and I think that much of the audience consisted of friends of the composers and/or performers. I went with three friends, who I convinced by telling it would be interesting to see student composers.

The first piece was called Oblique/musique composed by Patrick Swanson. This piece instantly stood out among the others because of the instruments involved. The piece was performed by two people: one playing a vibraphone and the other playing a large drum/cymbal/gong. However, the piece also contained prerecorded sounds of static, bass, and an incoherent voice. In this piece the melody was repeated many times. It was similar to the works of John Adams because of its repetitions, background recording, and minimalistic sounds.

The second piece was a piano composition by Thalia Ventimilla called Ecuadorian Afternoon. This piece had a very relaxing melody and a “walking speed” tempo. It was not fast and not slow. The intensity of the piece started out high and gradually declined, then built up to decline again. This went on in a series of decrescendos, rising and falling with lots of chords being played.

The third piece was a duet for the flute and the oboe by Julia Grace Brown. The piece contained two movements, but I could not tell when one stopped and the second began because there was no pause. While they played the flute was quicker, playing in short, fast, high pitched notes. On the other hand, the oboe was steadier and carried the notes slightly longer, and it lead the flute through the song. Sometimes the two instruments played simultaneously, and sometimes the flute would mimic the oboe and follow it through the movement. Overall, the piece started out fast and eventually slowed with the two instruments ending together, but the flute always played in a higher range with a more piercing ...

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..., intensity, and length. The entire movement had a feeling of rising to a maximum point which could not be surpassed. In the third movement the flute and the piano played together and played nearly the same thing, with the exception of the flutes higher notes. This to had an increasing in intensity and tempo.

Now for the sake of time, and because this report is already too long, I will skip to the last piece. Also, the seventh piece was so long that I could keep discussing it.

The final and twelfth piece was made up of excerpts from a longer work called Five Short Pieces for Clarinet and Bassoon. To me, maybe because the concert was beginning to get long or maybe because I did not have many notes over it, the last piece seems fairly similar throughout its movements, or “Short Pieces.” The first was an up-beat piece with a distinct melody. The clarinet and bassoon alternated, with the clarinet playing the higher notes. The second movement had a have complete feel to it. The two instruments played at the same time, close to it. The third movement was an impressive sounding mix of ups and downs. It seemed that the performers were working very hard and it sounded very complex.
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