The Colgate University Orchestra performed pieces by Franz Liszt, Sergei Prokofiev and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during their performance on Sunday, November 10. The performance was conducted by Professor of Music and Conductor of the Colgate University Orchestra Marietta Cheng and accompanied by pianist Richard Goode.
“The whole concept is that the orchestra could be freed from form,” said Cheng.
The first piece was Liszt’s “Mazeppa, Symphonic Tone Poem No. 6,” which was finished in 1851. This epic symphonic poem, inspired by Victor Hugo’s “Mazeppa,” describes the story of Ivan Mazeppa, a sixteenth-century nobleman who was tied to an untrained horse against his will. While this act was supposed to result in his death, he was fortunately freed at the last moment.
“Mazeppa” portrays the nobleman’s horrifying ride through the use of a long movement. There were strings to depict the galloping of the untamed horse along with short gusts from the winds. The piece slowly becomes ominous toward the end, as it is clear that Mazeppa is about to die. However, at the last moment, the trumpets and the bass signify his rescue and the piece ends triumphantly.
The second set of the three works was Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet Suites No. 1 and 2.” From “Suite No. 2,” the orchestra performed “No 1. Montagues and Capulets,” “No. 4 Dance” and “No. 2 The Juliet Child.” After those three, the orchestra then played three more pieces from Suite No. 1, including “No. 6 Romeo and Juliet,” “No. 5 Masks” and “No. 7 Death of Tybalt.”
After a short intermission, the orchestra picked up again to play Mozart’s “Piano Concert No. 18 in B Flat Major, K. 456, ‘Paradis'” with pianist Goode. Mozart composed this piece in 1784 in B Flat Major.
“Opening with a lightly martial theme that poke fun at normal march-rhythm stereotypes, the first movement darkens at times with whisperings in minor keys,” wrote sophomore Hailey Elder in the program for the concert.
Goode, the acclaimed and powerful pianist, accompanied the Colgate University Orchestra during their performance. During the 2013-2014 season, he has appeared, and will continue to appear, with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berline, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and many others. In previous years, Goode has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. Over the years he has made more than 24 recordings, ranging from concertos and chamber works to lieders to solos.
“Every time we hear him, he impresses us as better than we remembered, surprising us, surpassing our expectations and communicating perceptions that stay in the mind,” wrote Gramophone magazine of Goode, which Elder also quoted in the program.
Overall, the orchestra and Goode delighted the audience with their impressive performance, receiving a thundering applause from a crowded Colgate Memorial Chapel this past Sunday evening.
Contact Jaime Gelman