Orchestra concerto concert honors student soloists
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Westmont Orchestra’s annual Concerto Concert was held this past Friday and Sunday at the Music Academy of the West and First Presbyterian Church, respectively. The concert features the winners of the concerto competition held earlier this spring. This year, the winners were a violin and viola duet by Sierra Farrar and Erik Fauss, and a cello solo by Tim Beccue.
Farrar and Fauss performed Concerto for Violin and Viola, “Andante con moto” by Max Bruch, a German Romanticism composer. The passionate, flowing piece created an atmosphere of suspense and tenderness as the soloists wove together a melody of sound. Beautifully executed, the soloists were individually showcased throughout the piece, taking turns with the melody line.
Beccue performed Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra, “Allegretto” by Dmitri Shostakovich, a modernist Russian composer. The piece is incredibly dissonant and jarring, but works together in an ever-changing expressiveness. Somewhat dark and abstract, the main theme repeats in a cynically humorous way. By the end, Beccue’s bow had been shredded due to all of the angular movement.
At the beginning of the concert, per tradition, the orchestra began by playing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” a traditional hymn arranged for orchestra by Dan Goeller. After intermission, the strings of the orchestra performed “Sinfonia X” by Felix Mendelssohn. Originally orchestrated for a string quartet, it was interesting to see how all of the strings worked together to create music, especially without the aid of a conductor.
The rest of the concert centered on several pieces that the orchestra will be taking on their tour to Ireland and the United Kingdom during the summer. The theme of this concert was “cowboys,” and featured songs by American artists John Williams and Aaron Copland.
Williams’ piece “Cowboys Overture” was derived from a film score of the same name in 1972, starring John Wayne. Copland’s “Hoe-Down” is one of the most easily-recognizable pieces of Americana, with fiddling and contrasting periods. Both pieces are truly American and very fun to listen to.