By: Ashley Jones
April 21, 2016
I left the final River Rhapsody Chamber Music Series performance of this season excited by the new people that I had the opportunity to meet at the SHARP Event, and excited by the vast array of music that I had the opportunity to enjoy. The evening began with a SHARP Event in which members were invited to enjoy a glass of wine while getting to know one another. This experience was extra special for me because my sister was visiting from out of town. I brought her to the event as my guest. She was impressed both by the SHARP group and the symphony performance. She could not believe that the SHARP membership allowed us to network and enjoy high quality music at a fair price. The symphony is extremely expensive where she lives and is virtually inaccessible for those on limited budgets. It really makes me appreciative of SHARP and the opportunities that it provides.
The musical program began with Brahms’s Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101. I have read that “tragic passion and drama” are at the heart of this piece. I am no musicologist but I feel that passionate is an accurate description of this inspiring piece.
The program continued with Bartok’s String Quartet No. 4. Prior to the performance, one of the musicians explained that this piece was inspired by central European folk music. For my sister, my boyfriend, and I, the piece was both unique and oddly familiar, as if it had been on the soundtrack of a film that we had all seen years ago. We even looked up the piece on the way home in an attempt to identify it, but had no luck. In hindsight, I am left wondering whether Bartok or the folk music that inspired Bartok have served as an inspiration for other musicians that we hear on a daily basis.
The performance concluded with Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105. The dramatic high-powered revelry of the final movement of this piece served as a fitting ending for both the performance and the orchestra’s River Rhapsody series.
I felt the music chosen for this performance made for an exciting and invigorating show. Though each piece was different in tone, the entire evening seemed to be building towards the almost orchestra-like dramatic ending of the Dvořák piece. I was left satisfied and excited to see what surprises next season brings.
And now what?
To share your reflections on Brahms, Dvořák, or any of the other pieces performed by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, respond to this blog post or, as always, you can join the conversation by attending one of the scheduled SHARP events.
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