On Wednesday, October 17th I watched the University of Illinois Philharmonia Orchestra perform at Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center. The venue for this performance was quite different from the previous performance I went to. It took place in a giant performing hall with tons of lights illuminating the stage and enough light to see the audience across the hall. The hall also had two different stories so there was plenty of space for the audience and wasn’t stuffy and packed like my previous performance. Again most of the audience seemed like they were students from University of Illinois but there were also many adults.
Compared to my previous performance the audience here was definitely more diverse both in gender and race. Throughout the performance there was no interactions with the audience and the performers unlike the previous performance I attended. The audience also didn’t interact with each other and kept to themselves throughout the performance. However everyone was interacting with the music. Some members moved their heads and feet to the music and some closed their eyes to completely enjoy the music from only their ears along with applause after completion of each piece that was played.
The music during the performance consisted of three main pieces. The first was the Overture of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II, the second was Songs of time and Distance by Carlos Carrillo, and the last one was Symphony No. 4 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The instruments in these pieces included the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, timpani, piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass. The first piece performed was the Overture of Die Fledermaus. The musical form of this song is it is in strophic form and starts with a simple three note motif. This motif aims to gently ease the audience into the soon to be fast changing and extravagant overture. This motif is heard again and again as a sequence throughout the overture changing based on the part of the operetta the overture is showing a sneak peak of.
Overall, the organization of the overture of Die Fledermaus is aimed to be a preview to the operetta to come. It varies greatly in rhythm and melody to give the audience a sneak peak of the twists and turns that the operetta has in store for them. To do this the overture mimics some of the features of the different acts of the operetta showing the audience the excitement in some parts and tension in others. Therefore the tempo varied throughout the overture as well. Most of the overture however was either allegro, vivace, or allegro-vivace. These ranged from around one hundred twenty beats per minute to one hundred seventy beats per minute. The overture also had a fast allegretto after the slow tempo opening where the violins and brass both had large crescendos.
The melodies in this piece all vary widely, however each are joyful and nice sounding. The contour of each of these melodies are wavelike and mostly conjunct give a soothing and upbeat sound. However, when mimicking Act II of the operetta the melody does shift to being more conjunct because of rising uncertainty, which is then resolved soon after the overture micmicks Act III of the operetta and conclusions are reached. The fifth music component is the harmony of the piece. The overture is mostly in the major key which provides the nice and uplifting feel of most of the overture. However there is modulation in the overture where the key is switched to a minor key to express the sadness and uncertainty of Act II. Most of the overture is played in D major which is a intense and triumphant key. This makes the harmony very inviting to the audience who want to join in on the upbeat excitement.