1. What musical event did you attend?
I attended the “Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’” concert performed by the Utah Symphony at the Abravanel Hall. The songs performed by the symphony were Concerto No. 26 in D Major “Coronation” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat “Eroica” by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
2. Give a summary or description of the work(s) you heard.
The music I heard at this particular symphony was very moving. I enjoyed how each piece had different tempos at different times in the music. I was able to sense the energy in the music as it built from a rather calm and steady pace to one of extreme speed and volume. It made me think of the ability of the human body to begin from rest and excel to the point of maximum exertion for a short burst of energy that allows them to sprint 100 yards.
I also enjoyed how the music flowed from one movement into the next. Everything fit together extremely well, just like the pieces of a puzzle, it was almost impossible to tell where one movement ended and another began. The orchestra was able to stay together so well and never seemed to lose timing. It was just an overall really amazing musical experience.
3. Would you say that this was a poor/fair/good/high quality performance? Why? Justify your answer. Did you notice any mistakes or other problems that detracted from the performance?
This was an extremely high quality performance, as one would expect to be given by the Utah Symphony which is a professional orchestra that has many concerts each season. The musicians were all excellently in sync with one another and they all kept time with the conductor that the music seemed to enchant the mind as it effortlessly flowed from the instruments in the orchestra. And although there are inevitably, as with any performance, a few mistakes any that were made were covered extremely well and went practically unnoticed.
The music just kept the ears absolutely pleased with sounds that would make any person melt into their seat as they listened to the melodious works of two such famous composers of music, Mozart and Beethoven. The two contrasting styles of music helped add flare to the performance by giving the audience two types of music to listen to that were both different and similar at the same time allowing for an excellent exploration of the wonders of music.
4. What did you find out about the background of the works, composers, artists, or others connected with this production?
I learned that the Mozart piece was one of his final three pieces that were written in the year 1788. The Concerto No. 26 by Mozart was first performed in Dresden in 1789, however it was the Frankfurt performance that was conducted in the year of 1790 that gave the work the nickname of “coronation”, when it was performed at the coronation of King Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor.
What I learned about Symphony No. 3 by Beethoven was that it was originally named “Bonaparte” after Napoleon who was at that point in time nothing more than the First Consul of France. However, after Napoleon declared himself the Emperor of France in 1804 Beethoven, enraged by Bonaparte’s clear act of tyranny on the French political system, un-dedicated his song to Bonaparte and by the time it was first published in 1806 the symphony was named “Eroica” and was dedicated to Beethoven’s patron Prince Lobokowitz.
5. What was your personal reaction to this performance?
Overall, this was an extremely well done performance. The music was an extremely great combination that allowed the ears to simply enjoy the music while being able to notice the slight differences in the different movements of the pieces as well as being able to notice the similarities and differences between the two pieces of works.
The orchestra was kept together extremely well by their conductor, and they seemed to keep time with the music, even when they were involved in a duet with musician Ronald Brautigam, playing the piano. There were no clear mistakes and any that were made, as it is practically impossible to have a completely mistake free performance were covered extremely well so that the audience was not bothered at all by the problems.
I enjoyed reading about the different pieces in the playbill. I found it interesting that when Beethoven heard of Bonaparte’s self-appointment as Emperor of France he was enraged enough to un-dedicate the song to him. In fact, it is often said that he tore the cover page of the score in half and throwing it down in disgust. I wish it had mention why Beethoven had dedicated the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte in the first place, but perhaps that is just unknown.
I was also very impressed by the detailed information that was put into the playbill, that really helped me as an audience member to better understand the stories behind the music and to have a greater respect for the composers and their individual works. It was really a very high quality performance.
6. Would you recommend this performance or musical group to others? Why or why not?
I would definitely recommend going to see the Utah Symphony to others. I absolutely loved my experience with the event, and even with it being my first time at a symphony I was able to understand what music was being played and how the harmonies of the different instruments created an excellent atmosphere that allowed the audience to drift off on a cloud losing track of time and simply enjoying the music. So I would definitely tell anyone who asked me if they should go see a Utah Symphony performance that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life that allowed me to gain some cultural experience and basically enjoy myself to the highest degree.
7. Would you enjoy attending this type of event again? Why or why not?
I would definitely attend another performance by the Utah Symphony. When I first decided that I was going to go to this event for my assignment I felt almost completely assured that I would be absolutely bored out of my mind, and lost in what was being played. However, when I actually was taking part in listening to the beautiful music played by the magnificent orchestra I realized that I was actually enjoying myself and listening for the subtle delicacies that the music provided in the slight changes in tempo, volume, and sound, and before I knew it the symphony was over and I was left wanting more.