|Music: An Appreciation 7e by Roger Kamien|
|Online Learning Center
|| To the Student | Attending a Concert | Which Concert to Attend? | At the Concert | After the Concert | Writing a Concert Report | Transforming Your Notes into a Report | What to Write: The Content of a Report | How to Write about Music: Vocabulary, Usages, and Conventions | A Sample Report | Acknowledgements ||
|A Sample Report||
Below is a concert report written by a college student, which should be helpful as an example of content, vocabulary, and usages. (You'll notice that this student has followed a format requested by her instructor.)
Name: Peggy Skipitaris
Course: Introduction to Music
Date: December 9, 1991
Concert: New York Philharmonic (December 3, 1991)
Type of concert: Symphony orchestra
General reaction: I was impressed with the construction of the concert hallAvery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Centerand with its wonderful acoustics. The visual grandeur of the orchestra and the attentiveness of the audience heightened my sense of excitement.
Composition I likes best: The piece I enjoyed most was Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28, by Richard Strauss, a one-movement work in rondo form, with various tempos. This symphonic poem was written in 1895during the romantic era, when program music was prominentand is based on a German folk tale about a famous prankster. Strauss uses the rondo form as a framework for the episodes of Till's adventures: after each prank, Till laughs at his pursuers and saunters off. When he is finally caught and hanged, his last gesture is to thumb his nose at his executioners. Although the piece deals with death, and such unhappy programs are usually in minor, I hear this composition start in minor but end in major. The meter varies, as does the tempowhich is basically very lively but at times becomes moderate, slower, or even faster.
This work can be compared with another one-movement symphonic poem that deals with the death of its protagonists: Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky chose sonata (rather than rondo) form; his composition is in minor, the meter is duple, andas in Till Eulenspiegelthe tempo varies. The basic mood of the two works differs significantly: in Romeo and Juliet, it is loverather than mischiefthat triumphs over death.
Strauss introduces his hero with a lyrical opening theme (the horn). But the second theme reflects agility, deviltry, energy, and unpredictability. Both themes return often as we hear Till get into and out of "hide and seek" and "catch me if you can" situations. The ending is a grander, more exciting version of Till's first theme. Throughout, Strauss conveys the story and mood by contrasting solo and orchestral passages. The funeral after Till's handing is interrupted several times by Till's horn theme, suggesting his refusal to die.
In Romeo and Juliet, the slow introduction is a hymn-like melody (Friar Lawrence's theme) which leads to a violent, fast theme that identifies the warring families; Romeo and Juliet themselves are identified by a lovers' theme.
In both works, funeral music indicates death. Tchaikovsky used Romeo's theme as a dirge but follows it by the gentle lovers' theme which implies that these lovers will be reunited in death. Strauss, on the other hand, concludes Till Eulenspiegel with Till's nose-thumbing theme. Till's spiritlike Romeo's and Juliet'slives on, but it is obviously a very different kind of spirit.
Listening to Romeo and Juliet brought me close to tears, while Till Eulenspiegel brought a smile to my lips.
Performance of this work: Wonderful! I was glad that Till Eulenspiegel was the final work on the program, as it left me in a very uplifted mood. I marveled at the fact that, through his music, Strauss enabled me to see the actions described in the program.
Overall performance: Totally professional in every respect.