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Jazz Report

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I attended the University Symphony Orchestra's "An Evening of Handel, Schubert, and Haydn" on Thursday, September 30, 2003 in the Daniel Recital Hall. The hall was much more crowded than I expected. At the beginning of the concert, the orchestra was seated on the stage; the men wore tuxedos, and the women wore black dresses or pants. The concertmaster came out to tune the orchestra, and then the conductor made his entrance and gave a brief description of the piece that was about to be played.

George Frideric Handel's Overture to Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed during the Baroque era. It has a homophonic texture and its genre is a suite. There is a wide variety of instruments (aerophones, chordophones, and membranophones) used in this piece. Among the wind instruments (woodwinds and brass) heard were bassoon, oboe, French horn, and trumpet. The strings played included the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Finally, the percussion instrument used for this piece was the timpani.

This movement is broken down into four sections by tempo: Adagio, Allegro, Lentement, and Allegro. The Adagio section begins with a slow introduction at a mezzoforte dynamic. This section is in a major key and set in quadruple meter. It has a wide range and an ascending melody. There are brief cadences and the section grows in a crescendo. The loudness and energy of this section holds the attention of the listener and creates a proud and joyful mood. The Allegro section begins at a mezzopiano dynamic level, and is in triple meter. This section is played in a major key, and is largely conjunct in movement. The melody has an ascending shape as it moves in a crescendo. The fast tempo of this section creates an exciting and energetic mood. The Lentement section has a slow pace and is played in a minor key. It is homophonic and in duple meter. The tempo creates a smooth and relaxing mood. This section features a decrescendo and is conjunct with a relatively narrow range. Finally, the Allegro section is repeated.

Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor was composed during the Romantic era. The instruments heard include the trombone, flute, oboe, bassoon--members of the aerophone family--as well as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass--all chordophones. This piece has an overall homophonic texture. The genre is a symphony, which is divided into two movements: Allegro moderato and Andante con moto. The Allegro moderato follows sonata-allegro form. There are two themes presented, and the movement is in triple meter in a minor key. It begins at a soft (piano) dynamic level and grows in a crescendo. It is generally conjunct with a narrow range that eventually expands into a wide range. The softness opening creates a dramatic atmosphere filled with emotion. This movement illustrates a recapitulation--the restatement of themes, since the main two themes recur throughout the piece.

Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G major ("Surprise") was composed during the Classical era. It is a symphony with a generally homophonic texture. This particular piece is performed with a wide variety of instruments, which include aerophones (French horn, bassoon, oboe, trumpet), chordophones (violin, viola, cello, double bass), and membranophones

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