In this paper, I will discuss a movement of Eline kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that was performed during a concert at Central Michigan University by euphonium and tuba ensemble on November 20, 2016. The ensemble was comprised of tuba family instruments: baritones, euphoniums, counter-tenors, and tubas. The performance was presented by junior and senior CMU tuba and euphonium studio ensembles. The ensembles performed a collection of some of the most recognizable orchestral arrangements. I was hard-pressed to recognize a piece from the program that I enjoy the most because the ensembles were able to convey an extremely wide range of articulations striking in their phrasing and musicality.
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The performance started with Achieved is the Glorious Work by George Frideric Handel that was arranged by Michael Forbes. The piece was lively and contained a lot of interesting lines for performers to play. The arrangement was excellent and set the tone for the whole concert. The following pieces were performed after the opening: March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod, And Can it Be? by Charles Wesley, Allegro from Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Earl of Oxford’s March by William Byrd, Little Russian March by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vaudeville, Op. 128 by David Uber, Bridge by Michael Forbes, Rondeau by Jean Joseph Mouret, Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Albert von Tilzer, and Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona.
The piece that I particularly enjoyed was Allegro from Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Eine kleine Nachtmusik is a serenade in G major that was composed in 1787. It is an extremely graceful piece for a string quartet with double bass or chamber orchestra (“Listening Guide” par. 1). The musicians performed the first movement to Eine kleine Nachtmusik that is associated with a unique mix of unity and variety that helps a listener to feel the transition from seemingly simplistic exposition development to recapitulation recap. I enjoyed the simplicity of the opening that was underscored by the use of arpeggios and a melody that was generally monophonic (“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” par. 2).
The theme was extended by a musical section that introduced a slight tension. It grew louder with the simultaneous increase in the syncopation of interval leaps thereby surprising a listener and making them feel the dynamic of rhythmical movement. I immensely enjoyed the moment when the tension created by repeated motive was suddenly stopped. Exposition development was followed by a rather lyrical transition that created a feeling of calmness (“Allegro” par. 3). The change of piece’s texture helped me to appreciate the complexity of its interval leaps and ever-changing dynamics. I understood that a wide variety of themes in the development helped to emphasize a seemingly simple exposition of the piece. I was able to recognize that asymmetrical sections signaled the re-transitioning phase of the movement because it introduced the feeling of tension that I had during the opening of the piece.
I immensely enjoyed the concert from beginning to end. I expected that music would be well performed; however, it was a surprise to discover that the whole musical journey was accompanied by an extraordinary expertise in the application of musical forms. I liked all musical pieces that were performed during the concert; however, Allegro from Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the one that I enjoyed the most. I will never forget the dramatic changes of tempo and texture that left me breathless at the end of the piece.
“Allegro.” Aeiou, Web.
“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.” Aeiou, Web.
“Listening Guide.” W. W. Norton & Company, Web.