For this assignment, you will select and “attend” one of the concerts below. Each of the four concerts is in two video segments, much like you might have in a live concert that includes an intermission.
Select one of the period concerts, watch both videos associated with it, and write a concert report. Your report should be two- to three-pages (typed, 12-point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins; or approximately 500-750 words) in which you describe your experiences listening to and watching the concert you have chosen.
All of these performances took place at the Concertgebauw in Amsterdam, one of the great concert halls in the world. A few of them (the second video for the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic concerts) were recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, so there are only very few persons in the audience and the orchestra members keep appropriate distance – all for health safety.
Baroque Concert – Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Cantata No.6 & Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach
Classical Concert – Haydn: Cello Concerto in C & Beethoven: Symphony No.7
Romantic Concert – Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.3 & Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5
Modernism Concert – Britten: Les Illuminations & Shostakovich: Symphony No.10
Share your impressions of the piece and the performance. You may focus on whatever aspect of the music you wish (instruments, performers, melodies, harmonies, rhythms, textures, etc.), but be as specific as possible in your descriptions. Pay attention to the environment of the concert itself: the empty hall (for the pandemic performances), the silence before and after each piece (especially for those performances with no audience), and the way the musicians interact with each other. Did the remote experience of watching the concert from home enhance or detract from your enjoyment of the music?
To receive full credit, your concert report should address the prompt above and establish a connection between what you hear and what you have learned from class. Essays that simply list the pieces and mechanically describe the performances without providing any further insight will not receive high scores.
Here are some questions that you might want to consider (but don’t necessarily have to answer):
Did you hear any music that was familiar or new to you?
Did you hear any sounds that were familiar or new to you?
Did you hear anything that you would like to know more about?
Did the music trigger any emotional responses? What were they?
Writing style and proper grammar both count, as does a “clean” paper (i.e., free of typos and errors). Make sure that you proofread your concert report carefully before turning it in.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to interpreting music. I want to read about your individual insights, observations, and opinions. Don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts! This is not a research paper, so you shouldn’t have to look up other people’s ideas about the works—but if you do, make sure that you cite your source(s) properly. Simply put, don’t bother with plagiarism because you just don’t need to do it.
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