Concert Review

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On Sunday, March 24th I attended a Guest Artisit/Faculty Recital at the Florida State Universities Opperman Music Hall. I was accompanied by my sister and daughter. None of us had ever attended a classical concert before so we weren’t really sure what to expect. Given that I am currently enrolled in music history and learning about the Renaissance and Baroque era, I had a little idea. But, I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the concert. We arrived at the Opperman Music hall at seven forty five ready to take our seats. The music hall was beautiful with garnet walls that were seperated into sections by white columns, lights that hung down from the ceiling that looked almost like chandiliers throughout the hall. The stage was arranged with a wooden panel in the center that showcased the harpsichord sitting in front of it. The seating was arranged into five sections. Two wall sections one on each side that was raised higher than the stage area. Below them were two smaller side sections, and then the middle section that faced the stage. The hall was large enough to seat around three hundred people and there was probably around a hundred people in attendance. The audience ranged from young to old, it didn’t seem to be any different than you would see at any other type of concert, except maybe a headliner show. Performers for this event were Timothy Hoekman, Frank Kowalsky, Carla Connors and Christopher Trakas. Timothy Hoekman is a vocal coach at FSU and has won many awards for both his singing and piano playing. Frank Kowalsksy teaches clarinet at FSU, he is also a member of the Tallahassee Symphony Ochestra and has played in orchestras worldwide. Carla Connors is a soprano singer and has sung in competitions worldwide and won many awards for her exquist operatic voice. The guest artist of the evening was Christopher Trakas, who has taught vocal lessons at North Carolina’s School of Art, and the Julliard School and is well known for his “eclectic” baritone style of singing. At approximatley seven fifty-five the lights in the hall went down and up, alerting the audience that the performance was about to begin. I witnessed a quiet that took over the audience as everyone took their seats and prepared for the performance. As the performance began the first two performers entered from backstage and was greeted with applause from the audience. The first performers were Timothy Hoekman, who was all dressed in a black tuxedo and his wife, Carla Connors who looked beautiful in her long grey gown with a very sparkling sequenced bodice and jacket. When introducing themselves Mr. Hoekman compared his wifes voice to that of “Geori Boué” who was “was widely regarded as one of the greatest French soprano of the 1940s”. He took a moment to give a brief overlook of the musical pieces that they were going to be performing and then took his seat at the harpsichord. Their performance included:

“Haste, Give Me Wings” by John Eccles (c.1668-1735) who was a theatre composer in the Baroque era. This piece was probably one written about love. It had a soft mondonic style with some light aria moments, Ms. Connors expressions were very passionate during the song as to weigh on the meaning behind what she was singing. Written during the Baroque era you can tell because most of John Eccles music has a lot of passion and meaning. I was not able to find out any more details about this song in my research. “Bess of Bedlam” by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) was a beautiful heartfelt love song. It is an Opera style song with some aria melodies throughout the song. Written in 1693 about a woman name Bess who “has come to grieve her departed lover and hopes to die there in the enchanted wood” just like Purcells other song about “Dido and Aeneas” a woman sadden by the departure of her lover. Ms. Connors really portrayed the the words of the song with expressions of hand motions and facial expressions....
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