Conductorsplay an integral part in orchestra performances. They get toliterally control the whole process of performing. Gianandrea Nosedais known for his exemplary work in orchestral songs as a conductor.He has had held many performances all over the world with differentorchestras. I happened to attend one of his concert performances heldat The Great Hall on 1087 Queen Street in Toronto on March 112015.The concert epitomized all that is expected of a concert as discussedbelow.
WithGianandrea Noseda as the conductor and Canada’s very own AdriannePieczonka providing the soprano and the music played by TorontoSymphony. This way, the concert was an opera setting as anaccompaniment to a solo symphony. The orchestra consisted of morethan thirty members by my estimation. In line with what is expectedof an orchestra set-up, the seating arrangement was organized intofour sections with the violinists seating to the left. The foursections played different instruments that included string, brass,woodwind, and percussion instruments. The percussion players wereseated at the back of the group.
Theconcert started with the performance of Alfredo Cassela’s Italia.This composition was one of Casella’s early compositions in 1909.The composition was created as a sort of nationalist song for Italy.It represented all that was Italian in spirit and language from themind of a young budding composer. This was clearly brought to thesurface through a sonorous performance that awed the crowd. AdriannePieczonka as the soloist did not disappoint. She matched up withNaseda with a warm tone and near perfect diction. At the end of thisparticular piece, the audience gave a rapturous applause and Nasedahimself was jumping up and down in response to the cheers from theaudience.
Afterthe intermission, the crowd was introduced to another Europeancomposition this time round from Germany’s Richard Strauss. Theever popular hislieder wasthe first to be performed followed by another Strauss’ compositionthe four last songs. There are a lot of memories and nostalgiaassociated with this second composition given that it was Strauss’slast composition in 1948 before his death a year later. It is alsoworth to not that the he made the composition at the age of 84 whichdiffers sharply with Cassela ages at the time of composing theItalia.
Anothernotable composer that impressed in that concert was Wilhelm RichardWagner in his composition Mildund leise fromTristanund Isolde.Once again, Noseda and Pieczonka did justice to this particularcomposition through a seamless performance. However, I found that thetempo was notably slow given the tempo that is associated with thecomposition is somehow faster. Again, the orchestra at times drownedout Pieczonka’s voice though I was not sure whether she had gonesofter in her voice or the orchestra was overshadowing her.
Thelast performance was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.Beethoven is arguably one of the best known composers to date. Thiscomposition which lasts about 40 minutes and although the orchestraprovided the best performance, I could not help but observe thatindividual people in the audience were bored. However, I personalfelt it as a tribute to Canadian soldiers who died in the Iraq war.This is in recognition of the history behind the composition in thatBeethoven created it as a dedication to Austrian soldiers wounded inthe battle of Hanau in 1813.
Afterthe final performance, the audience uploaded wildly. It was clearthat the people had had their thirst for classical performancesquenched. I had taken special interest in the violinists in theorchestra. I took time to interact briefly with one of the violinistsas the rest of the orchestra members interacted with the audience. Wetalked about the perceived difficulty of such performances. Herevealed that there are certain notes that can be tricky for anyviolinists. However, he talked of endless practicing and the need tolearn to improvise in case one veers of the performance. I furtherasked him what his favorite composition was in terms of playing thenotes and he said there was none. He was categorical that eachcomposition is different from others and each has its strengths andweaknesses.
Onthe overall, I was impressed with the entire performance. One thingis observed was the large number of people who turned up for theshow. This shows that Canadians in general are getting accustomed toorchestra performances and are willing to spend a tidy sum of moneyto buy tickets for such concerts. However, the number of young peoplein the audience is very low. It is clear that the youth are stillmore inclined towards contemporary music from various genres such asrock, pop and reggae. Nonetheless, I believe the growing recognitionof music a as a full time career will increase the number of learnersstudying music and who are better equipped knowledge on appreciatingthe different genres of music available today.