Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tchaikovsky... Mmmm....

So, this semester has been crazy busy and I have not had any time to do anything fun, like blog. You may find that I am blogging... I just decided to take a moment and post something to get away from everything that I'm supposed to be doing, and so that those who may care about me in this world know that I am not dead. :)

Coming up this Thursday, the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, in which I play, is putting on a concert. In this orchestra, we play "the big stuff." No movie music. No cheesy popular stuff. We play the pieces that have been forgotten over the years by the general public. The pieces that are deemed "classical" by our current generation. We resurrect the timeless pieces of the past by the world's greatest composers who dedicated their lives to such music.

We will be performing Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. For anyone that finds the classical genre boring or uninteresting, try this symphony on for size. Tchaikovsky was known for his profound lyricism and melodies. His music, though it does not have words, penetrates and speaks to the very soul. He presents a wide range of emotions, feelings and aesthetics: anger, frustration, adoration, beauty, anticipation, mourning, surprise, hope, light, determination. All of these and many more are found in this one piece of music. I grew up on this kind of music and it holds a very prominent place in my heart. This symphony is so profound, moving and so very beautiful. By far, one of my favorite symphonies of all time.

My favorite moment of the entire piece is the very beginning of the second movement. The cellos and violas come in as quiet as they possibly can. They are playing in the lower tessitura of their instruments which gives it a rich, dark sound. It feels really gloomy, dark and sad, but as the music progresses, there is a gleam of hope that changes the mood of the music. The French horn (my instrument! Of course this is my favorite part. Totally biased), as a solo, then comes in with the melody which is beautiful and heart-wrenching! It just pulls at the heart strings as it constantly builds tension and relaxes the tension as it resolves. I love it so much! This is one of the many reasons I play the French horn.

This kind of music is so rich and deep. If you get the chance, try separating yourself from the mainstream music of today and expose yourself to some of the "classics." You may be surprised by what you hear.