Concert Review

I. Introduction – General information about the concert
• The venue and date
• What works were performed
• Who were the performers
Example: On (date) the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall presented an evening of Mozart. Skillfully led by conductor (name), the evening included three of Mozart’s best loved works: Symphony no. 25, the Piano Concerto in A major with pianist (name) and the Requiem in D Minor featuring The Metropolitan Opera Chorus. Soloists included soprano (name), contralto (name), tenor (name) and bass (name).
II. Information about the venue
• Architectural history of the concert hall or opera house.
• If the venue is unusual, a description of the space.
Example: Built in 1891, Carnegie Hall was financed by the great industrialist Andrew Carnegie…etc. Example: The concert was held in the Main Hall of the New England Aquarium. The orchestra was arranged in
front of the 9,000 gallon central tank…etc.
III. Information about the composer and works
• Brief biography of the composer
• History of the piece.
• You should concentrate on the period of a composer’s life around the time the piece was being composed.
You can then segue into the history and structure of the piece.
Example: The 17-year-old Mozart was living in Salzburg when he completed Symphony no. 25. He had returned from a busy summer in Vienna with his father…..etc.
In general, symphonies during the 18th century were mostly composed in the major mode. Symphony no. 25 is one of two symphonies Mozart wrote in the minor mode. The other is the more famous Symphony no. 40. Both works are in g minor with the first movements being written in sonata form…etc.

IV. A description of the performance
• Be careful to describe the performance as objectively as possible.
• You can give an opinion, but it should be balanced.
• Use descriptive language.
• Make sure to separate your opinion of the performance from your opinion of the piece.
• When giving a negative review, be diplomatic. A merciless review says more about the reviewer than it
does about the performance.
Example: While Symphony no. 25 has never been one of my favorite pieces, I was nonetheless impressed with this exciting and skillful performance. The orchestra’s sound was rich and authoritative, yet clear and well-balanced. The performance was rhythmically taut and dynamic. I found myself reconsidering this early work of Mozart’s.
Example: Symphony no. 25 has long been one of my favorite works. I was eagerly anticipating this performance and the orchestra played well…but not wonderfully. This intense and dynamic symphony fell a little flat on this occasion. It seemed to lack the rhythmic energy the piece requires. I have heard this excellent orchestra perform on many occasions, but sadly on this occasion they did not play with their usual passion and depth of tone.
Example: Many fine pianists have performed and recorded Mozart’s Concerto in A Major. Pianist Jane Doe’s performance on this occasion was a revelation, and will no doubt be added to that pantheon of great interpretations. Ms. Doe was particularly stunning in the tender second movement. Her tone was clear and warm, and her phrasing simple and understated. The audience seemed to hold its breath for the entire movement, entranced by the quiet and poignant melody that emerged from her delicate touch.
Example: Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor is one of the four requiem masses most often performed (the other three being those written by Verdi, Brahms and Faure). This performance was overall very satisfying. The Metropolitan Opera Chorus is capable of a firmer, richer and more robust sound than most choruses. This was particularly effective in the Rex Tremendae Majestatis and the Confutatis, although I wished for a more supple sound in the Lacrymosa. The soloists were all capable, but bass John Doe was particularly fine on this occasion. His voice is stentorian but with a rich and velvety color and superb legato. His performance of the Tuba Mirum, a notoriously difficult movement due to its wide range, was skillful and thrilling.
• Make sure to mention in your opening section all of the works that were performed.
• If your concert includes several very long works, you may choose to concentrate on one or two of them for
the main portion of the review.
• You must include the URL link at the end of your review for those of you watching something online.

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