Term Paper: Classical Music the Performance I Am Reporting

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Classical Music

The performance I am reporting on took place in December, 1991. It was a professional performance of Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor. The mass was performed by the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir. There were four vocal soloists - two male and two female. The female soloists were Barbara Bonney (solo) and Anne Sofie van Otter (mezzo solo). The male soloists were Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) and Alastair Miles (bass). There was also a trombone solo, and this was performed by Susan Addison.

The instruments featured in the ensemble included bassoons, violins, cello, viola, basset horns, trumpets, trombones, timpani and double bass. The Monteverdi Choir comprises both male and female vocalists, around twenty individuals in total.

The performance was held at the Palau de la Musica Catalana, in Barcelona, Spain. This particular viewing of the performance was from a BBC telecast, therefore the cost was free. The performance was around 45 minutes in length.

The Palau exudes an ambiance of opulence, well-suited to such a rich work. The facility is ornate, featuring many statues and exquisite glasswork on the ceiling. The setting is formal, but the spaciousness of the room allows it to retain a degree of warmth that suits the music well.

Acoustically, the room is strong, albeit imperfect. The spaciousness allows for the power of the work to reveal itself. The basic room design allows the sound to flow to the listeners, while some of the soft angles and statues deflect the sound. It appears that certain sections of the audience are situated in relatively enclosed spaces with a lower ceiling that will absorb some of the sound waves. This is less than ideal, since the reverberations are part of what lends the work its majesty and power. Some of the strongest parts of the piece involve an enormous amount of vocal texture and in these areas the effectiveness of such texture may be diminished.

The requiem contains 8 movements. They are, in order: Introit, Kyrie, a Sequence, Offertory, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei and Lux Aeterna. The Sequence is comprised of the following subsections: Dies Irae, Tuba Mirum, Rex Tremendae, Recordare, Confutatis, and Lacrimosa. The Offertory is comprised of two subsections: Domine Jesu Christe and Hostias.

The part I enjoyed most was Dies Irae. This section in particular I found a very powerful and energetic section. The pace and texture were both exceptional here, and carried a tremendous amount of majesty to the piece. Hostias was another section I particularly enjoyed. While I… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Classical Music the Performance I Am Reporting.  (2008, June 27).  Retrieved September 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/classical-music-performance-reporting/8501121

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