On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, I attended The University of Mississippi’s Department of Music Faculty Recital Series, at the David H. Nutt Auditorium.  The concert featured Christine Kralik on cello, Adrienne Park on piano, and Michael Rowlett on the clarinet, performing works by Johannes Brahms, Robert  Muczynski,Gweneth Walker, and Pascal Dusapin. Since I have never been to any theater or musical performance in my life, I was actually quite apprehensive. I had no idea what to expect. When I showed up, I was the first person there, just the musicians, their instruments, and me. I was frantically looking to scan my ID. I sat in my seat fidgeting nervously until the lights dimmed, at which time I tried to remain calm.  As I sat listening to the performance, I was trying to take notes in the dark. My mind was racing as I was trying to recall what I’ve learned in my music class and being able to correctly identify key aspects in person. As I started to relax and unwind, I began to truly listen to the performance on stage, I was actually mesmerized.

While listening to Trio in A minor, OD.114, by Johannes Brahms, a German composer and conductor from the mid-Romantic period,I was transfixed. I could imagine myself sitting in a concert hall in Austria during the 1800’s. It was not hard to embrace his work, I was enthralled and totally and completely engaged. The trio performed on a  piano, clarinet, and cello, the effect was calming and mellow. The work was composed in four movements, an introduction, beginning, middle and end. The tempo was similar in the introduction and exposition while transitioning minor to major keys, and ended on a dramatic coda.

After listening to French composer’s Pascal Dusapin’s, Ohé (1996), I could immediately tell this was more modern and was my least favorite performance. The Chamber Music consisted of the cello and clarinet and seemed to have a choppy Jazzy feel to it. There was an undeniable energy to the work that brought out different levels of emotions within.

Fantasy Trio (1971), by Robert Muczynski, was a very engaging piece, and not at all what I expected. The cello, clarinet and piano trio worked well together and didn’t overshadow each other. When the trio performed together, timbre was displayed and showcased a beautiful and cohesive work. There were four movements, each distinctly different.  The tempo in the first movement, (allegro) seemed upbeat and fast, while the tempo of the second movement, (andante) seemed  a little faster than the first. The third movement (Allegro deciso) was a powerful one, high energy, while the last and final movement’s tempo started slowly, it increased gradually to a lively and upbeat, then ended abruptly on a strong note.

Gweneth Walker is a composer from the Contemporary Period. In her “Craftsberry Trio” for cello, violin and piano uses Appalachian folk style. After listening to her work, I heard four movements, allegro,andante,scherzo, and allegro. To me, each movement is trying to tell a story. The first movement “Up-Country Toccata” has a lively tempo with established tonality. The piano is used in the cadenza. The second movement, “The Lark in the Morning,” uses major mode and then switches to minor mode, as the intensity grows, it is as if birds were fluttering.”You Can Buy It at the General Store” seems lively and fun. In the last movement,”Craftsbury Common” there seems to be a slower tempo and repeating patterns in C major.

My overall impression of my first concert review was relief and intrigue. I’m glad I got one of the reviews under my belt. I am intrigued with the prospect of enjoying a new pastime (all genres of music, not rap). I only wish this was an in person class.

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