Written by Joshua Iyer
Published: November 8, 2014 at 5:45 AM [UTC]
Finally, the piece I’d been waiting for after an intermission (with more composing): the “New World Symphony”. As I listened to this for the third time this week, hearing sections of it over again on recordings, I realized how much of the piece seemed to be inspired by nature and the prairies of America, similarly to how inspired I am with nature when I go on morning walks and compose. The timpani part bringing out the diminished chords in the first movement was really incredible to hear. Of course, the famous melody in the second movement was beautiful, and again in the first violins. During the oboe solo, the strings were very conscious of the melody being in that instrument. During the Scherzo, the brass continued to play that older theme with pride, with the violins etching away at themes from the first movement. (Every time the violins were faced with runs of sixteenth notes or triplets, they tackled each of these with pride and virtuosity. The CSO really is amazing!) Finally, of course, the epic fourth movement was just as I’d heard it in recordings, only now I could actually feel each of the brass tones with their motif. The piece ended with a grand E major chord that faded out in the brass, a really unique ending that I really liked.
Overall, I was very pleased with the experience I had tonight. It was a Friday party night, and as I don’t get this opportunity very often, it was not only nice to go hear the orchestra but also that I got to listen with friends around me, and chat with them about the music. The CSO, as always, did an amazing job, and it made me very inspired to really practice violin this weekend (as I will most definitely do). This is an experience everyone must see, because it sets the bar incredibly high for what a symphony orchestra really can accomplish.
The New World Symphony was a significant piece in my growing-up years. In Civic, it was one of the pieces we tackled. I had already listened to it some years earlier. How could I ever forget this unique score? No way -- not possible. The CSO is an exceptionally accomplished ensemble. It was a blessing, indeed, to work directly with several of its section principals during my Civic training days -- among them, the late co-concertmaster Victor Aitay.
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