Concert Review. “Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1”
Concert Review. “Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1.”
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1
October 22, 7:30 pm, S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium – Benaroya Hall.
The Piano Concert No 1 played by Ludwig van Beethoven was written in 1797 (Nordlinger 64). S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium – Benaroya Hall was an important site for the concert presentation. The site had approximately 2,500 seats with a glorious blend of the architecture and acoustics of the hall resulting in a desirable experience to all the viewers. Incidentally, the ceiling was designed using dark woods offering an excellent site to the concert hall beside the feeling of intimacy. The ceiling panels were offered in a manner that the audience felt connected to the stage, making the Benaroya Hall to be one of the finest concert halls in the region as well as across the globe. Personally, I found the concert hall to be comfortable for me as I could view the performance without any form of distraction from the audience.
The audience supported the performers all way through showing their interest and anticipation for the next note to be played. Other than showing interest, the audience showed favorable surprise indicating that during the concert start out, Beethoven was already attracting the interest of a larger percentage of the audience. As a result, the reaction of the audience indicated that the existing challenging and preconceived ideas that Beethoven’s musical structure was conservative was no more. I liked the fact that the audience appreciated the performer as the current concert recorded a major improvement compared to the previous concerts that drew mixed reactions.
Ludwig van Beethoven was the only performer playing the piano. The manner in which Beethoven played the piano provided a description of the character of the performer. As it is, Beethoven is a patient and determined performer. He played each key with caution to please the audience and to convince himself that this concert was different from his previous genres. He did not want any more mistakes during the performance as in the previous genres despite the conservative nature of the music. I liked the performance and how he was composed during the concert. I was surprised by the fact that the current concert showed a major difference from the previous Beethoven’s genres.
I drew several lessons from my familiarity research. First, I learnt that Ludwig Van Beethoven was the composer of The Piano Concert No 1. He had a difficult childhood based on the fact that his father was an alcoholic, and he lost his mother at the age of 18 years. The composer had only two siblings after his mother gave birth to 7 children with only 3 surviving. After the death of his mother, Beethoven was forced to take responsibility for raising his siblings. It was at this time that he begun studying music and composed a variety of music by the time he was 26 years (Hansen 81). The composer was never married or had any children. Beethoven died at the age of 56 years.
During the research, I also learnt that Beethoven’s musical work was a reflection of the life of the composer. Prevalently, the brutal nature of Beethoven’s father had an effect on the life of the composer changing in on a greater scale. As it is, the father’s love for alcohol and his brutal characteristic drove the composer to the music industry. Incidentally, he became a musician as well as a composer in his strife to earn a living and support his siblings due to the incapable nature of his father. He first studied Mozart while learning from the best composers available at the time. During a point in time, Beethoven was going deaf. As a result of his depression, he composed a piece reflecting his feelings. Prevalently, the composer provided a description of his despair in a long note concealing what he was through in his life. Despite going deaf, the composer allocated even more efforts in his music work in that he composed more pieces in between 1803-1812 (O’Shea 49). During the outlined time, Beethoven composed six symphonies, an opera, five string quartets, four solo concerts, seven piano sonatas, six string sonatas, and 72 songs. His works depicted success however this was not truly the case as he was still miserable. Literature has presented the composer as miserable, lonely, absent minded, short tempered, suspicious, paranoid, and greedy.
The familiarity research also provided me with an opportunity of learning the main intention and meaning of Beethoven’s work. Despite being miserable, Beethoven’s success in the music industry is imminent. The composer reflected the ups and downs that he had in life in his music. In comparison to his Haydn and Mozart compositions, it is prevalent that Beethoven’s music reflected the dark and sad moments that the composer faced in life. Despite having romantic periods in several instances, the deep emotions present in the piece cannot be overlooked bringing out the element of intensity in the piece.
The Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 live performance differed from what I expected. I did not expect the music to start at a slow speed and theme. My expectations were driven by the fact that this was not the first concerto played by Beethoven, and it was meant to attract the attention of a large percentage of the audience. However, the music is offset by a slow and low theme that later picks up. I also expected the concert to start off with a piano being played other than the other instruments based on the fact that Beethoven’s concerts are mainly dominated by the sound of a piano. However, I was surprised to see and hear the performers playing the violin and the Chello. However, the changes in the tempo and the rhythm of the performance brought out the message of intent as expected.
Having in mind that Beethoven’s life was sad and miserable at the same time; I expected to gain a sad emotion throughout the live concert. On the contrary, all I could obtain was a happy emotion until the song hit its 10-minute mark. Minutes later, the tone changes again where I obtain a romantic as well as happy emotions. Consequently, the mood changes again after a few seconds. With the changes, the intent of the music is brought out in a unique manner showing that Beethoven had hope and determination of succeeding, but various difficulties blocked his way making him miserable.
In sum, I learnt that the Piano Concert No 1 played by Ludwig van Beethoven was written in 1797. Beethoven dedicated the concert to the Countess of Bratislava. Taking into consideration Beethoven’s First Piano Concert, it is evident that the first note offered an explanation that the current concert was not his first one. Incidentally, the current concert has been preceded by several other concerts. Arguably, the current concert survives as a result of the piano score. It is also prevalent that the concert is characterized by enough orchestral cues that make it reasonably possible for orchestral cues success. In comparison to his previous works, it is evident that the current concern was identified to be one of the Beethoven’s work to be printed based on the fact that it was more impressive as well as stronger in comparison to his previous genres.
My familiarity research prepared me for what I was expected to see and expect during the live concert. The research increased my level of enjoyment of the concert as I was prepared for what to expect rather than get mixed up trying to understand the changes in the music notes. Also, having watched the concert on YouTube, I noticed the changes in the tempo and melody of the song. The experience obtained left me anxious on how the actual performance was to be. With the prior research and preparations, I can conclude that the concert met my expectations. Despite a few differences here and there, I can say that the concert met the intent of the composer as I could easily get the sad emotion and message that the Beethoven was communicating to the audience. Furthermore, the Benaroya Hall at S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium was one of the most comfortable concert halls I have been to. I was able to obtain a direct connection to the stage without any form of distractions.
O’Shea, Gary. “‘A Permanent Influence’: Beethoven’s Impact On Prokofiev’s Piano Writing.” Musical Times 165.1932 (2015): 49-62.Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Nordlinger, Jay. “New York Chronicle.” New Criterion 33.8 (2015): 63-66. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Hansen, Thomas “Piano Concertos 1-5/ Triple Concerto.” American Record Guide 78.3 (2015): 80-81. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.