NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY
A FRENCH VALENTINE
FEBRUARY 18, 2012
Mr. Frank T. Elliott, Instructor
A French Valentine
On Monday, February 13, 2012, I attended a concert presented by the Norfolk Chamber Consort titled A French Valentine. Chamber music is music for a group of no more than eight players, with one instrument to a part, and no conductor. A chamber orchestra is larger than a chamber group but smaller than a symphony orchestra. It was held at Old Dominion University’s Chandler Recital Hall. This performance consisted of four acts. The versatility of the acts was instruments and vocals containing such as piano duets, a singing soprano, harps and poets, and a violin and cello. The selections were from the following composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. The chosen selections from each composer were Six Epigraphes Antiiques, Sheherazade, Chansons de Bilitis, and Piano Trio. These selections were all romantic styles of music.
The first performance was Six Epigraphes Antiques a piano duo. The pianist performances were one of great form and different scales. When the music started I immediately started thinking of a man and woman having a conversation. This conversation was represented in music, told a story of falling in love, being hurt, and one of making up.
The second performance was Sheherazade, performed by a soprano and piano. This libretto really did not work for me. Even though the soprano had a beautiful voice and the pianist was excellent, I just wasn’t moved. After I left the concert I started looking up other performances of this same act. I found one on YouTube performed by Concours Musical International Reine Élisabeth de Belgique 2008, finale. This was performed by an orchestra and a soprano. When I was watching the performance at ODU, I felt the soprano was not convincing me that this was a love story. I could not stop looking at her with that smile on her face that reminded me...