Analysis of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra live from Berlin, Opening concert of Musikfest Berlin 2013
The touch, peace, and beauty of traditional classical music concerts have enabled their relevance for the longest time. Classical music composers use their pieces to portray how society was when they lived. They are timeless because they express the profound civilization conceptualization. Additionally, classical music concerts expand the mind and imaginations of their audience. It also nurtures the soul and encourages self-expression, thus enhancing self-esteem and a sense of connection (Chun-Fu, Chen &Hsin-Yun Hu, 66). The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra live from Berlin, Opening concert of Musikfest is one of the special classical music concerts ever. During an interview after the concert, most of the audience agreed that it was one of the best they had ever attended. The performance and delivery of traditional classical music are vital because they determine the audience’s mood and attention.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Opening Musikfest concert was held in Germany, Berlin in 2013, at the virtual Digital Concert Hall in Philharmonie. The concert was conducted by the Australian music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck, while the violin was played by a German violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter. The program for the concert began with Janaček: Suite for String Orchestra, followed by the Lutosławski: Chain 2, Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra, and finally ended the night with a performance titledStrauss: Ein Heldenleben, Opus 40 (Performance Today, 2013). The concert was fascinating because it maintained a consistent flow to the end. The Berlin audience seemed impressed by the performance because of their reaction during and after the concert. Nearly all the audience members were glued to the players of various instruments at the concert under the conductor Manfred Honeck. A good flow facilitated by in-sync instruments plays a crucial role in making a concert successful and memorable. The conductor worked hand in hand with the violinist and managed to pull it off and satisfy their audiences throughout the concert.
The concert was exciting to listen to and watch. The different players in the arena were energetic, enthusiastic, and dedicated to delivering the best performance. They all came together and conveyed a unanimous message to the audience through their breathtaking performance. Different pieces under the name program were performed in the concert. Program notes that contained different messages for the different pieces were also used to refer to them. The program notes used for the first program constituted the piece’s debut; the second program note was made up of the piece’s history, while the third program note entailed the history of the piece’s composer (Performance Today, 2013). It is essential to remember that The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Opening Musikfest concert was organized by different stakeholders as a charity event to help raise funds to establish a civilization monument. Part of the proceeds was also channelled to constructing a mental healthcare and wellness facility to control the increased rates of depression and consequent suicide rates reported in Berlin.
The players in the arena were dressed appropriately and looked appealing from the audience’s stance. Each with their respective instruments sat in an orderly manner facing the conductor because he foresees and provides guidance on the keys and notes to hot during the orchestra performance (Wald-Fuhrmann et al., 34). The uniformity and arrangement of the players contributed to the liking of the piece altogether. The orchestra adopts a homophonic form because it facilitates apparent simplicity and symmetry. Other forms like the polyphony form pave the way for regularly phased-out and measured tunes that most audiences don’t find intriguing or captivating. The players’ controlled their intonation and dynamic range, adding spice to the concert (Swarbrick et al., 172). The use of different musical instruments simultaneously was also top-notch. Each player was aware of their next move hence synchronizing with the rest of the crew from the beginning to the concert’s end. Watching and listening to the lead violinist control her hands and hit the extreme high and low notes perfectly throughout the concert was memorable. It was a powerful experience because it soothed my soul and allowed me to connect with my emotions and let them reign as the concert unfolded.
The Lutosławski: Chain 2, Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra stood out among the three programs performed during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This piece was charming because its melody construction was unique to the rest of the sounds. The composer adopted regular phrasing, which implies that it was constructed with regular bar lengths and even. The larger forms in the program were characterized by a tonic, dominant relationship pull, and a powerful tonal system (Schedl Markus et al., 510). Additionally, perfection in the piece’s flow showed that the composer successfully explored the piece’s rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, and textural aspects. The cadence in the program was distinctly marked to facilitate smooth flows and transitions throughout the concert. Moreover, the perfection of The Lutosławski: Chain 2, Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra was achieved through shortening and making the music lighter throughout the program. Incorporating more than one instrument, synchronizing them, and using a well-thought-out classical song composition ensured the piece was worth remembering for the longest time.
Being part of The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert and understanding the message conveyed in every note was an informative and fascinating experience. The deep connection with the different programs brought different emotions and made me vulnerable without judgment. It also connected me to the different audience members in the concert because it allowed us to share our emotions and comprehend the intended message of the concert. The concert was also an eye-opener to encourage more young people to give traditional classical music concerts their attention because it’s worth their time. Traditional classical music is a creative living history that binds people and gives a sense of direction. Therefore, it is necessary to nurture a generation enthusiastic about this music category as they carry heavy and relevant messages that prove essential for an individual’s growth and well-being. The concert was definitely a moment I would cherish for the rest of my life. I intend to continue attending the traditional classical music concerts and orchestras because they are informative, emotionally engaging, and a good form of entertainment at the same time.
Chun-Fu, Chen, and Hsin-Yun Hu. “The attitudes of university students to classical music concerts: A study in consumer behaviour.” International Journal of Management 23.2 (2006): 66.
Performance Today. “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Live From Berlin, Opening Concert Of Musikfest Berlin 2013”. Youtube.Com, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyeR-gPakWo&t=1207s&ab_channel=PerformanceToday.
Schedl, Markus, et al. “On the interrelation between listener characteristics and the perception of emotions in classical orchestra music.” IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing 9.4 (2017): 507-525.
Swarbrick, Dana, et al. “Corona concerts: the effect of virtual concert characteristics on social connection and kama muta.” Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021): 172.
Wald-Fuhrmann, Melanie, et al. “Music listening in classical concerts: Theory, Literature review, and research program.” Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021): 34.