Sacramento Symphony: All-Tchaikovsky Program

On Saturday, 3rd November 2012 at 8:00 p.m in Freeborn Hall, four pieces from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky were performed by the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. I was motivated to attend the concert on noticing they played one of my favorite pieces, the Serenade for Strings in C Major, op. 48. William Barbini appeared as soloist and concertmaster while Geoffrey Simon conducted. 

The Sacramento Symphony opened the concert with the Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem, op. 15. The opening began quietly with string instruments plucked in unison as the conductor controlled them with a D Major that begins with all the three instruments in a meter triple. A slow melody came from the brass instruments, which turned the piece more dramatic as it progressed. The music became more intense, and the pace became more faster, with fugue-like entrances following the soloist. The piano and the violin are tagged along by another and thereafter, they are played in unison that makes different impressive effects. The climax of the piece was the finale, with continuous clanging of cymbals and beating of drums at the background, trumpets were the forefront of the overture that makes it very impressive. Then brass instruments played at the background as the string instruments became the dominant sound.

The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, op. 35 was the 2nd piece to be played. The main theme, in the first movement, was Barbini playing a solo on the brilliant timbre from violin that creates lot of excitement and energy to the play. The background was playing soft melody using string instruments and plucking of cello strings where the composer is able to harmonize them by moving his body. The solo’s sound was high screeching which was followed by a sound comparable to a rubber band. The 2nd movement was melancholic in terms of mood, with brass instruments enhancing the sad mood introduced by the string instruments with a constant horn in the background. The last movement with its tempo came to a climatic end. A pause followed the plucking of cello strings, which was repeated three times to close the movement (Candelaria & Daniel 12)

After an intermission of fifteen minutes, the last two pieces, the Capriccio italien, op. 45 and the Serenade for Strings in C Major, op. 48 were performed by the Sacramento Symphony. These pieces are very impressive since they were full of life, with the most memorable movement being Serenade for Strings in C Major, op. 48. It consisted of four movements the El’gie Larghetto elegiac; the Finale (Temo Russo); the Pezzo in forma di Sonatina, and the Valse: Moderato, Tempo di valse.

 The first movement began with all instruments being played at once. They then moved from one cord to the next, moving from loud to soft tone. The timbre from Violin made a dramatic entrance after a pause by playing a serenade with cello strings playing in the background. The movement became energetic and lively with violins’ short strokes of their bows and the plucking of cello. Though it began softly, the third movement increased in volume as the movement advance. The long strides of the violin bow along with the resonating cello strings created a vibrant sound. Then, a sweet sounding serenade was created by the plucking of cello string in the background along with the violins. The serenade from the last movement opened quietly from the sounding if violins. As other string instruments were joined, the movement became livelier. The cellos, in this movement, were forefront of the piece with violins being plucked at the ground. This was the single most movement where cellos were the dominant sound. This movement made a lasting impression on me is it was my favorite piece (Candelaria & Daniel 32).

At the end, the overall performance and the decision from the concert was never to be regretted since it was impressing as from the conductor, Geoffrey Simons, gracefully moved his body along with the music to the way the instruments were played.   The performance was entertaining and engrossing, as well for classical music lovers. The instruments were played together low and high pitches in addition the difference in dynamics. The consistency was homophonic; the mezzo forte from the dynamics, conjunction of melody and the rhythm was well indicated.

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