I attended in my first concert which is held in the Leo S. Bing Theater inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at 6:00 pm on March 10, 2019. Performers included Alexander Hobbs and Caroline Campos(violinists), Lydia Plaut(Viola player) and Claire Park(Cellist). These four performers finished four pieces, including I. “O Virtus Sapientice”; String Qaurtet in F major, Opus 96, “American”; I. Fantasie (Bihag); and Shuo. During the concert, Vijay Gupta(Street Symphony Founder & Artistic Director, YMF Senior Program & Artistic Advisor) introduced Melissa Maldonado(who played harp) and Lauren Wasynczuk(who played soprano saxophone).
These three played “Ave Maria”/Prelude in C major, BWV 846.
The first piece was I. “O Virtus Sapientiae”(from Three Antiphons for String Quartet) by Hildegard von Bingen. For me, the whole price was so gentle and clear. The pitches from the instruments was infinite, not abrupt at all. I think the melody was disjunct, but it sounded very smooth. The flow of the music was like running water.
Imaging that when the water gets into a low valley, it meanders there. When the water meets a stone, it goes around it. So the sound moved in a natural way, which sounded pleasing.
The harmony was consonant, which was stable and pleasing. I think that the scale was neither major or minor because I didn’t feel happy or sad in the concert. Maybe there was a low level rhythm but it was a non metrical rhythm. This piece was a Gregorian Chant and it has a monophonic texture.
When I was listening with my eyes closed, I felt like I was in a church in the Medieval Ages. My mind was so clam. All I could hear were the voice from priests who were singing chants. I saw the earth and the heaven. I felt like I was so faithful to the God because of his wisdom. Hildegard of Bingen was a great female composer. She wrote lots chants in her life, which were used for church devotion and worship. I think this piece did well in this purpose because it was full of imagination and meaning. It led people to believe in the God’s power of wisdom. This mediating song might appeal people to church more often because it was so pleasing and peaceful, giving people time and space to think.
The second piece was in F major, Opus 96, American by Antonin Dvorak. This was my favorite in the concert. This quartet was lengthy so I would like to talked about movements one by one. The first movement was Allegro ma non troppo. It began in the viola and came with the first violin, then the other two joined in. It was in F major and I think it has a pentatonic scale. The shape of the melody was like an arching bridge and it developed very natural. The second subject was in A major and it also has pentatonic scale. This section was more relaxing and peaceful. The tempo was slow at first, then faster and slower and fast again. It ends with an interesting part. Firstly the 4 performers played the same melody but not at the same time. So it has polyphonic texture. There were repeated melody so it seemed like the music was retelling a story. The beat was clear and I wad nodding my head all the time. I felt like I was in a beautiful countryside. I was so excited that I could get rid of all the troubles and enjoy the life. The second movement was Lento. I thought it has pentatonic scale but it was in minor rather than major because I felt a little sad when hearing the music.
One of the violin and the viola began firstly, then the second violin joined them. The cellist was tapping the chords as accompaniment. I think there are parts which repeated at least twice. The melody seemed endless because I didn’t hear any obvious pulse. But it flowed fluently and gently moved to the end, which reflected and echoed the beginning. They use pizzicato a lot. This movement reminded me of my hometown, where I grew up carelessly. I admitted that America is a good place but sometimes people suffered from homesickness. No matter how happy I lived here, there was always a place in my heart for my hometown, for my grandparents who raised me up. For me, this movement was melancholic.
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