Thursday, March 13, 2014

All in all...

We went to a String Theory Concert this evening. It was an unusual group of instruments for chamber music. The first selection was by a violin/piano duet by Mendelssohn. Second was by Poulenc - a clarinet/piano duet. And the third was a piano/violin/clarinet by Schoenfield. We loved the Mendelssohn, and enjoyed the other two pieces - even though they’re ones we wouldn’t want to hear frequently.

But listening to the music got me to comparing orchestral music to chamber music. Many composers wrote for both genres. I’ve gotten to where I prefer the chamber ensemble to an orchestra. John and I have talked about this, too, and wondering why.

When listening to an orchestra, we’re hearing all the instruments coalesce into one voice. There are occasional solos, of course, but generally it’s one chorus.

Chamber music, with its usually 2-5 instruments, is more like these different instruments having a conversation. The listener can hear these individual voices and how they “talk” to one another, “listen” from time to time, and then all “sing” together.

All in all, a lovely evening!

1 comment:

Harriet said...

As a young musician, I mostly played in orchestras -- outstanding symphonies for kids. Occasionally I had the opportunity to play chamber music, and I understand why you like it. We can indeed hear the voices.