Wind Ensemble entices audience at von der Mehden
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 00:10
The UConn Wind Ensemble played on Thursday night in von der Mehden Recital Hall.
The opening song, “Vox Populi (Voice of People)” by Richard Danielpour, filled the room with its lively, full sound, effectively capturing the attention of the audience. This classical music can be characterized as an arch that, as the music moves forward, slowly moves back to its beginning.
“My favorite song is the first piece because it was not straightforward and was very interesting to listen. There were no boring parts to it at all,” said Jen Beaty, a 7th-semester HDFS major. “I was actually expecting band-like music, but it turned out to be completely different. The songs were very unexpected and modern.”
Starting out soft, melodic and peaceful, the second piece, “Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme” by Michael Gandolfi, is a series of different variations on a central renaissance theme. The slow peacefulness in the beginning suddenly changed into a faster, upbeat tempo. Different instruments in the ensemble had many brief solo parts in this particular variation. The smooth transition into the fuller-sounding variation filled the room, showing the audience the true sound of the full ensemble. A shift in the music consumed the room with suspense. As the suspense continued, the crescendo made the music even more climactic. The climax ended with an unexpected clarinet solo, and then moved to a flute and clarinet duet-like music conversation. The ringing of a single triangle concluded this piece.
“Distant Moons” by Steve Danyew was the next song played. “I could almost see the moon as I continued to listen to this song. This illusion was so mesmerizing and real,” said Pam Smith, the grandmother of Bob Barney, a 5th-semester music performance major and a trombone player in the concert. “I came to my grandson’s symphonic concert last week and when comparing these two concerts, this concert was completely different but much more interesting. The music that was played here was very far out and suspenseful, with the different sounds and tones.”
The concert ended with a song by Joseph Schwantner, “From A Dark Mellennium.” This very suspenseful ghostly song made for an interesting finale to the concert. “The last song sounded like as if I was having a nightmare,” Smith said. The use of bows brushing against percussion instruments and the soft girls’ singing created a haunting effect in the song.
“I think the general consensus of the concert amongst the performers is that we did really well. We feel really good about our overall performance of the concert,” said Corey Killian, a 9th-semester music education major and saxophone player in the concert. “I started playing in the Wind Ensemble in the second semester of my sophomore year, and I really like the fact that we play very different, newer music at every concert since then. This one is much more different than our past concerts in the way that there were a lot more contrasting styles.”
Wind Ensemble’s last concert of the semester in von der Mehden Recital Hall is on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.