The Furman Symphony Orchestra, along with Thomas Joiner the conductor and David Gross, pianist showcased Bartok and Beethoven on October 29th, 2002. This was my first time going to an actual performance with a full symphonic orchestra that included the four music families. The four music families were the strings, Brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments.
The setting was in an auditorium and the conductor and all the performers were dressed in a formal manner, which is considered being black and white suites and dresses.
The first violinist stood up and signaled, then all the instruments begin to play. The first piece was Javelin and it was a contemporary sonata piece, written on a commission from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. The composer of this sonata is Michael Torke.Javelin is a frequently performed composition and it was very uplifting to me.
Bela Bartok composed the Piano Concerto No. 3, he was one one the most important composers of the twentieth century. The tempo of this concerto was constant and it had the traditional three movements, allegro- slow- allegro. There was a lot of dissonance to me in this piece. There was also orchestral accompaniment for this concerto. "The Piano Concerto No. 3 is cast in the traditional three -movement format. A special point of interest is Bartok's tempo designation for the second movement, Andante religioso, the only time he ever used that qualifying adjective"(program notes).
After attending this performance, I can now define a sonata; concerto and I also know what the sonata cycle is when I hear the different movements in the cycle.
After the intermission, there was a prelude by the orchestra prior to the conductor's entry to restart the symphony.
I was very much entertained with the last piece, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 that was played in A major. This sonata began with slow start and then they developed the theme. There were several fortes' to this work with increase and decrease in intensity. There was a lot of emphasis on each movement of the sonata cycle. For example, the second movement began with the first and second violins playing. There was a number of variations in the dynamics and the additions of other instruments. I could distinguish at times the different instruments that were playing. The thematic development was in the second movement. "This lead to the well-known dotted eight note figure" (program notes). The last movement included some jubilant modulations.
I enjoyed this symphony so very and I look forward to attending more performances of this type in the near future.
Bartok & Beethoven. Program notes. Furman University Department of Music. Furman Symphony Orchestra. 29 Oct 2002