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Eugene Symphony – Rite of Spring

January 22, 2006

When to the Eugene Symphony again Thursday night and it was great. It’s so nice to be able to go to the symphony again. I was playing so much in Flagstaff, that I never got to go and just listen. The program was very diverse both historically and stylistically.

The first piece was by Phillip Glass for strings and two saxophone soloists. It was short piece from one of his film scores and consisted of basic chords in the strings with a beautiful simple melody from the soloist. It’s amazing how emotionally distant the music can sound with just the right chord progressions. I always wonder how much of the feelings we receive from music are universal, or if the feelings are based off of what we know due to the culture and society.

The second piece is the Mozart Concerto for Violin No. 5. This happens to be the piece I am slowly wading my way through currently. I played the first movement last summer/fall term, and I’m now working on the second. I’m hoping to speed my way through it though. No. 5 is by far the best out of all the Mozart Concertos. While it is very difficult to play clearly, it lacks the emotion of many other pieces that I would rather be playing. He wrote it when he was 19, which is impressive, but not enough to really make it interesting to play.

The last piece was Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. I was really impressed with how the Eugene Symphony sounded. This is quite an accomplishment for anyone to play and I thought overall it went very well. The soloist even joined in to take part of the Rite. The first performance inspired French riots, and even though that would have been exciting, thankfully nothing of the sort happened on Thursday.

What do you think, does music communicate the same basic feelings no matter where you’re from, or does it mean something different to different cultures?

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