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Classical Music Concert Essay

classical music concert essay

Example #1

The performing group was the Astral Trio, Nicolas Kendall on the Violin, Clancy Newman on the Cello, and Anna Polonsky on the Piano. They performed on Monday, November 5, 2001, at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. The Cerritos Center is exceptionally stylish and classy or maybe I think like this because it was my first time at a musical concert. In fact, I was nervous since I didn’t know where to walk but the center was well coordinated plus I was helped all the way to my seat. My seat was located at the front left section of the concert hall. It was an adequate seat location for the reason that I could clearly observe and listen to the performers quite well.

The stage lighting was fine because it focused on the performers. The only problem I noticed was that the seats were extremely uncomfortable and too compact to each other. There was one special feature at the end of the concert, it was an encore presentation of another movement in the Trio in B Major of Johannes Brahms. The age of the audience ranged from children as young as 5 years to elder adults. Almost everybody dressed differently but all were dressed suitable for the occasion. The behavior towards the performers was supporting and well-liked reactions regarding the pieces they played.

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The first piece played was Trio in G Major, Op 1 No. 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven of the Classical Period. The performance medium was the Orchestra Trio; they used all three instruments in the entire piece. (Violin, Cello, and Piano) The texture of the piece itself was homophonic. The piece also used ample terraced dynamics or gradual dynamic change throughout the piece. The first movement was in a fast tempo, with a nice but not catchy rhythm. Since it was quite hard to remember when it was over. The second movement was in a slow tempo, it very dramatic. It made me sad as if someone died. The audience seemed captivated by the grief it projected. The third movement was like the first but changed w/ higher tones in a fast tempo.

The second piece played was Cafe Music by Paul Schoenfield of the Twentieth Century. The performance medium was the Orchestra Trio; they used all three instruments in the entire piece. The texture of the piece was polyphonic/homophonic. The entire piece was smooth and suave, the charming melody for any moment. The first movement was in fast tempo; it resembled a get it going rhythm, a little slow dance-like. The second movement was in a slow tempo; this movement was like saying goodbye to something but not in an unhappy manner. The third movement was similar to the ritornello form; it had aspects of the first movement.

The last piece played was Trio in B Major, Op. 8 by Johannes Brahms of the Romantic Period. The performance medium was the same as well as the instruments played. The texture of the piece was homophonic/polyphonic. This piece had a harmonic and relaxing melody. The first movement was in a fast but in some parts slow tempo. This movement was the most relaxing of all. The second movement was in a fast tempo; the music played was like reminiscing old time playing on a hilly grass field.

The third movement was in a slow tempo, not projecting sorrow ness but more like peacefulness. The last movement was in a fast tempo; it had a high climax point that marked the end of the main theme. The piece that had the most emotional effect on me was the second movement in the Beethoven piece. It was so dramatic that it made me remember the times when I had to let go of some of the people I loved the most. The concert itself was great but that movement really shook me.


Example #2

This is a response paper to a classical music concert I attended at the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles on the 7th of December 2012. The title of the concert was ‘Toyota Symphonies for Youths’ created by Adam Reilly and Igor Stravinsky of the Musical Dramaturg and Production Consultant. The music was conducted by Dietrich Paredes and directed by Abigail Deser. The main idea was to showcase a mix of classical music for the youth. The music was blended with fun and fantasy to entertain teenagers and young people, who are known to enjoy fun music. The first piece of art that I saw was written by Leon Martell and choreographed by Kitty McNamee.

In the main auditorium, there was a nice synchronized melody of the blend of different musical instruments and a beautiful vocal performance from the performers. There were four performers; one lady and three gentlemen. The lady was mainly doing the vocals while one of the gentlemen was playing the piano, the other was playing the oboe and the last one was playing the bassoon. As usual, the stage was well lit and the performers had confidence as they entertained the audience.

Since this was a classical music concert, it was obvious the kind of audience that would appreciate the performance. One interesting thing about this concert is the fact that classical music was incorporated with vocals. This is one of the modernizations that this genre of music has had to undergo. Before, it was very uncharacteristic for classical music to use vocals. The writings of the music had to be written down in musical notes and instruments used as the only means of output.

Apart from the performance of the first group, there were other groups that also performed the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra is an early piece that was first performed in 1922, by Eugene Goossens. Just like in the previous performance the orchestra bands also did an amazing performance reading the notations from a script and playing the music with their different instruments. Some of the instruments that I saw being played by the two groups were piano, organ, and harpsichord. These instruments are played mainly solo. Unlike traditional classical music, I noticed there were several electric types of equipment that were used; for instance, electric guitar and synthesizers.

The music played by the two orchestra bands, were accompanied by impressive ballroom performances whereby ballet dancers would join the music and entertain the audience. The instruments used in classical music have undergone changes from the time the genre began. There is a lot of modernization in which also includes the dress codes and the performers. In this concert, each of the performers including the ballet dancer was dressed in suits. Considering the history of classical music and ballroom dancing, the kind of audience that enjoys these pieces of art are the elites of society.

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It is usually a common thing to find the audience respecting the value of the music by observing decorum in the auditorium. The music itself had balanced and harmonious phrases. The melodies were elegant that the audience was so impressed. Considering the nature of classical music from the traditional perspective, such pieces are only supposed to be performed in such away. There is no need for oral presentations and recordings. However, conventional classical music has tried to embrace certain things such as recording the performances for commercialization purposes.


Example #3

I attended the concert by McGill Baroque Orchestra and McGill Cappella Antica on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. What special about this concert was the guest conductor and solo violinist Adrian Butterfield. The performed pieces were Welcome to all the pleasures, Leclair’s Violin Concerto in A major, Locatelli’s Introduzione teatrale in G major, C. P. E. Bach’s Sinfonia in C major and My heart are inditing. The venue was Redpath Hall of McGill University. The program began with Welcome to all the pleasures, which is an ode written for Saint Cecilia Day, composed by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell in 1683.

3 in D Major. The string arrangements in the beginning show similarities with J. S. Bach’s popular work. In this movement, there is a slow theme in the minor mode, which keeps coming back in different variations. Thus, I think this movement is in the rondo form. After adagio, the mood of the piece gets “brighter”. Allegretto is in the minuet form and it is built upon themes similar to each other. These themes consist of parallel and contrasting melodies. Texture-wise this symphony is homophonic. One can hear the different dynamics, but clearly, it is not what this piece was written for. Speed and virtuosity are in the foreground.

After Adrian Butterfield showed the audience his virtuosic abilities, he turned his face again to the orchestra and Cappella Antica joined them for the second time. We were back to Henry Purcell with My heart is inditing, Z. 30. This piece is at a moderate tempo and has polyphonic as well as melismatic choral parts. They closed the anthem with a magnificent “Alleluia” part. The McGill Baroque Orchestra is a typical Baroque orchestra consists of eight violin players, of which the half played violin I and the other half violin II; three violists, two cellists, a violone player, two harpsichords, and an organ, which was played by five different performers, and, of course, the guest conductor and the solo violinist Adrian Butterfield.


Example #4

An integral part of learning an instrument is watching and listening to professionals. We have the opportunity to hear several guitar concerts each semester. If you’ve never attended a classical music concert before, you might feel uncomfortable with the idea of it. This is perfectly normal and is not specific to classical music. I’m sure you can imagine how out of place one might feel attending a Phish concert if one wasn’t accustomed to the culture that goes along with that music. The same can be said for all genres of music.

The main thing to remember when attending these concerts is that the focus is on the sound of the music. There are no fancy lights, dancers, or singers; all you will see is someone sitting on a chair playing guitar. Aside from some pretty funky facial expressions, there is not a heavy visual element to classical guitar concerts. Furthermore, the sound of the guitar is very delicate. This means that the audience has to be even quieter than they would be at an orchestral or wind ensemble concert.

You should behave in a way that allows your complete attention to be on the performer and does not distract your fellow audience members.
When you focus on the sound of the music, you may be surprised at what the guitar is capable of. The following is a list of some things you can listen to.
• Loudness and softness
• Changes and transformations
• Repeated sections of music
• Different speeds
• Different guitar sounds
• Melodies
• Rhythms
• Patterns
• Amazing


Example #5

For most of my life, I’ve always wanted to see an orchestral performance in person, but the prices for most of the classical concerts i’ve heard about were usually out of my budget range. Thankfully, my peers here at the university offer a number of these concerts free of charge, and thus, I am very glad that I finally had the chance to attend such a concert. When I first entered the Boss recital room, I was in awe of the design and architecture of the room. With what looked like an organ embedded into the back wall and all the small intricate designs incorporated into the walls; the room was breathtaking.

I felt like I was stepping into an architect’s mind. The orchestra consisted of what I expected, containing many violinists, violists, and cellists as well as a number of brass and percussion players. Most specifically, I noticed the oboe players, the drum player, the trumpeters, the harp players, and later the pianist. Everyone in the orchestra was dressed very professionally – the men in black and white tuxedos and the women in black dresses. Before the performance began, each performer tuned his or her instrument, together with the entire orchestra. After the conductor came on stage, he turned around and bowed. I almost expected that he was going to introduce himself and announce what piece was about to be performed, but instead, they just started playing.

The first piece they played was “Night on Bare Mountain” by Mussorgsky. This seemed to be the perfect choice to start off with. The music was very emotional and exciting to listen to – a very good attention-getter. The conductor was very into this piece expressing a lot of emotion through his body; you could almost feel the tension and emotions of the piece purely through his movements. In fact, if a deaf person were to watch the conductor, he or she could probably sense the emotion of the song just through his movements. Furthermore, the notable rhythm and quick tempos kept me interested until the very end – the piece never seemed to have a “down moment.


Example #6 – Live Concert Review Beethoven’s Violin Concerto

Beethoven is one of the major pioneers in classical music and probably the most influential of all time. When it came time to decide on whom to choose for my concert review it made the most sense to choose someone that has shaped classical music into what it is now. I have personally been to many concerts, however, I have never attended a classical production before. In choosing this composer, I knew that I would be guaranteed to listen to a little piece of history. Unsurprisingly, I was not let down by the composition, performance, and execution of one of Beethoven’s highly regarded concertos.

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On one Saturday night of October 6th, 2018 I attended the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. I observed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto come alive with the Nashville Symphony. Giancarlo Guerrero conducted this Concerto and this also featured solo violinist James Ehnes. The venue was organized to where the orchestra and the conductor are on an elevated stage and the audience is located in front of them, behind them, and on their sides divided into different levels. I was located behind the conductor and in front of the orchestra in one of the first rows. The lights dim and shine on the orchestra for the show to begin.

In order to understand this composition, I need to provide a little backstory. In history some pieces received immediate love from the audience, however, when it comes to this particular case, the Violin Concerto went through a rough start. Beethoven completed this piece just two days before its premiere in 1806 and this did not allow Soloist, Franz clement enough time to rehearse. (Eulenburg) This was Beethoven’s first and only Violin Concerto and nearly four decades later, this piece finally began to gain popularity due to the performance of 13-year-old Joseph Joachim in 1844. (Stowell) Today this piece is considered one of the most beautiful and beloved concertos, according to Beethoven’s biographer Jan Swafford. Its greatness lays not in its technique but in its cantabile, it’s signing.

Beethoven was influenced by the military and heroic gestures of music from the French Revolution and his knowledge of the French Violin School for this particular concerto. (Stowell) Robin Stowell observed that Beethoven’s familiarity with the compositions and playing styles of leading figures of the French violin school led to his transforming some of their idiomatic features from simple bravura to embellishments of profound musical ideas.

The concerto was divided into three sections with the first being concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra in allegro ma nontroppo. This particular Beethoven violin concerto is constructed symmetrically: each section has the same outline (two dialectically opposed parts) containing the complete motif (A+B, C, D, E). The movement follows the standard “sonata form” of Beethoven’s predecessors almost to the letter. It is divided into three parts: the Exposition (orchestra and soloist), Development, and Refrain (with Coda). This concerto is scored for not only the solo violin, but I also observed an array of instruments composed of flutes, oboes, timpani, strings, trumpets, horns, bassoons, and clarinet.

The timpani is the first sound we are hit with taking center stage to play a motif of four beats that returns again and again in the opening movement. Biographer, Jan Swafford, notes that the simplicity of this gesture heralds a piece that is going to be made of radically simple elements: rhythms largely in quarters and eights, most of the phrasing in four bars, flowing melodies made largely out of scales. The first movement is very serene and asks for the listener to contemplate rather than depict an epic adventure or drama. The soloists’ entrance is delayed by a lengthy orchestral introduction in order to create the leisurely aspect of the theme.

The allegro ma nontroppo does an excellent job of keeping the piece at a steady pace where it is fast, but not overly fast. The introduction and contemplation are made with a beautifully pieced together technique ending with a knocking motif. Expert in Beethoven’s concertos, Leon Plantinga, observed that this gesture could be read as, military metaphor, and emblem of struggle that illumines the joys of tranquility. He also notes that it anticipates a pivotal moment in Beethoven’s masterpiece of sacred music, where the piece is defined by the invocation of its opposite.

The second section of the concert is in Larghetto, which is a slower tempo. This is started at a slower pace with increasing and lengthy notes that fall and pick up. The violin is very prominent here and is the one leading with a measured touch of the orchestra in the background. The calm of this section centers on a gentle theme in G major. This reappears in different instruments as a framework around which the soloist weaves capturing scenes. In this movement the strings play with “sordina” (while flute, oboe, trumpets, and timpani are not included in the score), so to give the overall sound a soft, mellow, and warm color. This section is the most touching due to its celestial notes invoking the soul’s communion with high powers. It is very magical and asks the listener to get in touch with their most deep emotions.

The third and final section is followed by a brief cadenza as the bridge that leads into the Rondo. The main theme, known as the Refrain, is repeated in an entwined cycle and also includes a number of classic Sonata features like the three-part symmetry, harmonic structure, and the fact that the first episode (which returns as the third episode) acts as the 2nd theme of the Sonata. This varied form, known as the Rondo Sonata, was frequently used in the last movements of the works of Beethoven’s second period. The tune is envisioned after a hunting call. This section assigns the tune to the violin’s low register compared to the heights of the preceding movements. Leon Plantinga writes, Forthright good humor and uncomplicated rejoicing may rank high as human values, quite fit to stand together in the artistic enterprise with expressions of the most profound sort.

As the concerto geared towards the ending I couldn’t help the overall sensation that I had just been taken through a storybook, however, no words were spoken. It is incredible how melodies can transport the mind and soul to a different dimension on notes alone. This was my first live concerto and I will have to say that it was one of the most beautiful to listen to. Although I did not have much interaction with the audience, as everyone was completely enveloped with the concerto, I could sense they felt the same amazement I did. There are no signs of inner struggle or unneeded harsh tones throughout the concerto. It moves at just the right pace during each section and has the ability to develop emotion throughout.

As the lights are undimmed, the audience had nothing but a huge round of applause for the performance. The musicians played beautifully and really demonstrated their technical ability as they captured what I believe was Beethoven’s essence. I really enjoyed each section of this piece as each brought forth its own world of sounds and awoke intricate individual emotions. Attending this live performance made me realize that in order to understand the artist, especially when it comes to classical music, you have to immerse yourself in their world. Beethoven is regarded as one of the pioneers of classical music for a very good reason and, I am glad I was able to finally witness some of his classical work firsthand.

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Example #7 – interesting ideas

Do I need help with a comparative essay about classical music and modern style music?? I’m doing a comparative essay about classical music(1750 to 1830) and modern style music and I’m completely stuck because I can’t find any information about the point of comparison that I choose (specifically about classical music). The tree point of comparison that I choose was

  1.  How society and the composer’s surroundings played a part in giving shape to the musical compositions.
  2. The meaning of music to society (its significance for the different classes or people in general)
  3. How the use of technological advances (or the lack of them) in both eras affected music in general.

I have been looking on the internet an all I can find are incited Wikipedia articles and other wiki sites articles that only talk about the elements and generalities and I need at least 6 quotations from some reliable sources (I know that all that the majority of Wikipedia content is good but my teacher insist on. And to make things worse, I need to turn my first draft in by Wednesday, so I’m really panicked. All I’m asking is just some book or articles sources that discuss more or less these topics, specifically about classical music because modern music is easier. I would greatly appreciate any help from anyone because I’m seriously stuck on this.

Answer. I think you need to do it the old fashioned way and go down to the library and check out some books; also maybe they have some pertinent articles. The librarian should be able to help you. This was the way I wrote papers before the advent of the internet in the mid-90s. Before fishing, it might be good to have some general awareness about what you’re fishing for.

  1. Patrons. Classical musicians in the period you indicated often needed patrons, such as the aristocracy or religious leaders. Mozart, Bach, and Haydn had such sponsors. The patrons themselves influenced them because of their preferences. They’d belong to the court or received special support. Sometimes they worked as church musicians, which of course meant that their output was sacred.
  2. Recording. In those days, there of course was no recording, which didn’t have a modern sound until the late 1920s. Thus you could only hear the piece once at a concert, and people were more likely to attend concerts because there were no recordings.
  3. Composers. Since you couldn’t make your mark on posterity as a great virtuoso performer since there were no recordings, there was much more impetus to leave your mark as a composer. Nicolo Paganini was one of the greatest violin virtuosos of history, yet all we have are verbal descriptions. Yet he left his mark anyway as a great composer. This tradition of great players also being great composers lasted into the early 20th century, with Fritz Kreisler being of the last examples.
  4. Classical music was definitely upper class. However, the lower echelons had folk music and dance music, and the romantics of the 19th century would bring these traditions to classical music.
  5. Your period to 1830 bridges the enlightenment classical music of Hadyn and Mozart to the romantics like Beethoven, who early in his career sounded classical but then gradually revolutionized music toward the romantic. There were many influences guiding this, such as Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquering the Austrian Hungarian empire, etc.
  6. In those days, all the music had to be copied (see the movie Copying Beethoven) by hand so there weren’t as many copies around and it was easier for music to get lost. Nowadays, music can be composed on the computer which has trivialized composing to a degree, plus it is easy to photocopy music or transfer it on the computer.

When was classical music the most popular? I need to know for an essay and how old it is.

Answer. That is a difficult question to answer because classical music (the genre…not the period) is and has been continuously evolving. Generally, people think that classical music began in Medieval times. The tonal system was not the same though (we now generally use equal temperament….our octave is divided into 12 equidistant notes).

Music back then was predominantly vocal and there were only a few lines of music happening…it was more melodically based…as opposed to harmonic (chords). But gradually, people started to think more vertically and counterpoint became more and more important…It was in the baroque period (with composers like Monteverdi and Bach) that tonality became more stable. Basically from those medieval times up until the beginning of the 20th century, classical music was the most popular form of music (with folk music also being important in many countries…ex. Bartok drew from his folk roots in Hungary).

Classical was always most popular with the wealthy but during the Romantic period, with composers such as Liszt (who performed in newly built large concert halls), classical music became more accessible to the middle class. It wasn’t until the 1920s or so, with the integration of Jazz (or maybe even slightly prior to that with Rag?) that the music scene changed…music that had more rhythmic drive/interest became more popular. Jazz (along with country) influenced the creation of rock music and once Elvis Presley shook his hips…the rest was history!…or something like that…. 🙂

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