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Califonia Consort: Piano Quintet Essay

The consert was my first time and delightful that I had a opportunity to listen to classical music through the first concert, two Piano Quintets performed by Karen Follingstad, Alyze Dreiling, Susan Ung, Lorie Kirkell, Bert Turetzky at the Incarnation Lutheran Church on February, 19, 2012. The performance consisted of two pieces and the first piece performed was Piano quintet, Op 87 written by J.N. Hummel in the end of classic era and the second piece was Piano Quintet, Op 114 written by F. Schubert, also as well known as “The Trout.” It was interesting that Hummel composed this quintet in 1802, almost 20 years before Schubert wrote the Trout in 1819 and their composition were widely played during their lifetime; in addition, the both of them have a common in that those two are famous Piano quintets. I thought that the melodies were quite and resounded magnificently in my mind. I could even subconsciously focus on the notes and release feelings of tension.

First of all, the Quintet Op.87 is a masterpiece; the first movement (Allegro E Risoluto Assai) at once captives and impresses the hearer with its power and passion. After this follows the Menuetto Y Trio, Largo, Allegra Agitato, is full of light-hearted merriment and ends with a brilliant and effective close. While listening to it, the melody reminded me of Mozart’s pianistic style and The Trout, which would be performed just next to it and, actually, Hummel studied with Mozart. Especially, the first movement of Quintet, OP.87 sounded like tango to me and it started with the violin by Alyze Dreiling, then, the piano sounded to make harmony. I felt that the piano sound was extremely live and rhythmical, whereas, the others created nervous tension for making harmony with the piano. As I said above, everything including Violin, Viola, Cello and Contrabass seemed to be harmony with another, the sound reflected to be able to emphasize each instrument and piano quintet.

The second movement, Menuetto Y Trio, Allegro con fuoco, started quietly but, soon, it made a highly elated atmosphere which I was going into and let myself to the flow of continuing intensive melody. On the other hand, it sounded for me to ease tension occasionally. At that time, I could even felt melancholy strain. It repeated to raise tensions constantly, which it was the first time that the melody made me high tension emotionally and I was impressed by the harmony of the piano quintet because I had never been to any orchestra or concert. After that, the third chapter, Largo, started and then, the sound of piano a bit went up with its fast pace and increased tension more and more, which I felt like sadness and depressed emotion; however, I could retrieve my mental stability by focusing on listening to it.

My sentiment was raising highly as it was flowing fast little by little and, finally, was connected to the Finale, Allegra Agitato, the last movement. In the last movement, it became mild, warm and brighter again as if the first movement, the violin and cello sound much attracted my attention because of the wonderful and lilting sound. In the end of the Finale, it went up with high pace again and presented the peculiar principal theme which was of a somewhat martial feature. It ended up with the climax, tension of harmony. I could understand little why it is particularly interesting in its scoring and receive hummel’s great dramatic works by listening to it.

Secondly, after Piano quintet, Op 87 performed, they played Piano Quintet, Op 114, widely known as The Trout. It was not first time to hear it but was first time to see the performance at the concert. It consists of five parts and is also immensely popular and famous because it was made by F .Schubert. As the name is The Trout, I felt the piano sound was fresh and animated as if trout was swimming lively from the first movement. When hiking the mountain and seeing the water of a brook, we can feel being full of life, animation and restfulness. I felt just like when I see the water of a brook and could even imagine the figure of trout. In the first movement, Allegro Vivace, the four instruments made harmony slowly based on the piano sound and, especially, the violin and cello stood out clearly. The powerful sound of the cello by Lorie Kirkell was so great and played a role as bridge. I was impressed by a merit of cello sound again and again.

The second movement, Andante, was so lyrical melody that I could feel stability and richness like I had lived in village and been satisfied with my life; in addition, The three of the violin, viola and cello melodies definitely showed to advantage. I personally would like to listen to the music with lyricism because it radiates feeling of relaxation. From this part, I started to think this tune was made for cello because the cello sounded ever-greater part of this music. After the second chapter, the third movement, Scherzo, was as if the piano and others were talking to each other to make harmony. It was greatly cheerful that it made me pleasant and it went up with fast pace. The light each sounds added zest to the melody. The reason why I listen to it again and again is this part because its flow was interesting to me like trout was playing in the water. In the fourth movement, Andantino, I felt different sensation of lilting due to the many times of playing a variation and found the other liveliness by hearing this chapter.

This part was why it was named The Trout because it impresses that trout settles down to active, indeed. I also could imagine that trout was going all over in the water and playing; moreover, I could know this part was made of cheerful feature entirely. The Finale, Allegro Giusto, also was brimful of vigor. The four string instrument played theme and the piano repeated it in high speed. This part also made an impression which was fulfilled of vitality to me. I would like the music going on continuously fresh tune of the four string instrument’s sound. Somehow it made me feel like Hungary wanderer too because of the delightful melody. This performance was fascinating enough to hold attention of audiences. I was captivated by the great wonderful sound.

By listening to these two piano quintets, I took a new step on the classic music. I was unfamiliar with classic music but, now, since I attended this concert, I sometimes listen to classic music and relieve stress. Now I realized that classical music has its own distinct charm compared to new age and the impression from the melody could be amplified when I appreciated musical pieces on the spot. It was today when I sank into a deep emotion with classic music, precious harvest to attend the great concert and listen to classic music.

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