Concert Report

On Saturday the 2nd of June 2018, I attended a music concert at Westerbeck Recital Hall which is the center for the Arts Pasadena City College. It was a performance on Piano Accompanying and Ensembles between the Danube and the Vltava encompassing music of Hungary and Bohemia and other performances by Bartok, Ligeti, Fibich, Dvorak, and Brahms. The Piano Ensemble and Piano Accompanying Class were also featured. The program was scheduled to have nine performances, and an intermission between them, after the fifth performance. The hall was packed to the brim of its capacity, and the performers were clad in apt music regalia. The instructors guided the performances and exhorted to observe the set rules of no photography and switch off their devices to observe silence. This paper discusses two movements/performances that are the third and fifth performances in the program from the concert in line with elements of music.

The third performance was based on Paul Creston (1906-1985), a sonata for saxophone and piano which were performed by Austin Trujillo, Emily Su, Jacob Pleites-Morataya, and Yitong Ding. This performance entailed alto saxophone, piano, and baritone saxophone. This performance ostensibly employs two elements of music which are rhythm and harmony. The sonata brought out a sense of tranquility amongst the audience but with a certain vigor which could be ascribed to the suavity of that the rhythm brought. The fact that Paul Creston was a legend in a sonata for saxophone and piano further acted as the sinew for the performers as well as draw attention of the audience to every tune of the performance. The syncopation, chord, and beat produced by the saxophone and piano brought about such a rare softness coupled with a vigor which got some of the audience tapping their feet along the beats. The fusion of the instruments was such a desideratum which the audience could only marvel at the performance.

The fifth performance which was a just before the intermission of the program was by Austin Trujillo using the alto saxophone and Yinlin Ma who used the piano, on a romantic fusion of Allegretto scherzando based on William Grant Still(1895-1978). This performance showcased such a rare impressive rhythmic and harmonic combination of piano and alto saxophone melodies which brought out the theme of romance aptly. The dissonance in harmony which transitioned into a constant harmony was passionate exhibiting romance as intended. It captured the audience’s attention and Austin Trujillo’s dexterity with the alto saxophone was wonderful. The orchestration of the melodies which conjured up the audience’s mental pictures was such a rare feat by the performers. The blending of the two musical instruments by the two performers got the crowd humming softly to the rhythm and melody.

The other performances were equally magnificent and the audience was thrilled and many wished the concert would go on and on. The way the instruments were played, blended, and fused into musicality was professional, to say the least. The thematic concepts that each performance carried were well-exhibited thus earning the performers applaud and equally the reaction of the audience encouraged the performers to put their best foot forward. Such a performance would only make increase the audience’s love for music. The rare performance of the ensemble was classical. The musical elements were in the concert were communicated in a rare repertoire and the musical prowess of the performers was appreciated. I look forward to such another concert in the future to celebrate and learn more about music.