Review: Camerata-Orchestra Concert


The Camerata-Orchestra Concert took place on Nov. 8, 2018 in the Roberts-Dubbs Auditorium. The performance featured music ranging from Irish folk music to classical works such as Beethoven’s symphonies.

Peter Finnerty, Staff Writer

The conductor raised her hands as the lights dimmed. The room went silent as each person focused their attention onto the stage and waited for the performance to begin.

The Camerata-Orchestra Concert in the Roberts-Dubbs Auditorium featured a variety of different music, from Beethoven’s works to Irish folk songs. Both the somber and brighter tones of the pieces ultimately came together to balance and complete the resonating performance.

The first part of the performance was performed by Camerata Choir and the orchestra together. “O la, o che bon eccho!” was memorable because of the use of space in the performance: While the orchestra played on the stage, Camerata members were located on the top balcony. As Camerata sang a line, the orchestra would echo it. This unique technique provided an interesting and one-of-a-kind listening experience, and was a great start to the concert.

Following that, the orchestra played “Simple Symphony, Op. 4” by Benjamin Britten. The piece began with bravado, a burst of energy surging forth in the opening measure. The orchestra combined both a steady stream of notes flowing smoothly with rough and staccato sections, making for a varied experience where one could not anticipate what was coming. The orchestra also used a call and response with two halves of the stage, often harmonizing to give the audience a sophisticated piece.

The Advanced Chamber Orchestra played “Symphony No. 7 in A Major” by Beethoven. The orchestra began with a soft and haunting melody with only a few people playing. The hushed and melancholic nature continued, albeit slightly more complicated by the violins joining in. More and more musicians joined in, building up to a loud and memorable section. While the mournful tone was intact, the wave of sound washed over the audience rapidly but then quickly died down.

Following this, the tone shifted to become more playful. While the piece hinted at the more somber main melody, it was different than the previous section of the song. Suddenly the main melody returned and then reverted back to the less serious section of the song. The flip-flopping back and forth kept the audience on their toes and contrasted the song with itself, before ending with the melody it began with.

Camerata performed an Irish folk song, “Shule Aroon”. The song centered around a wife saying goodbye to her spouse. The singers managed to display the melancholy through a softer, less energetic tone. The words flowed smoothly throughout the piece, reverberating throughout the auditorium.

The piano and violin were well-used; pianist William Yoon used the piano as the backbone for the melody. Meanwhile, senior Margaux Kanamori’s violin complimented the vocals well and echoed the more somber tone of the piece

The American folk song, “Going Across the Mountain”, was the penultimate performance. The piece centers on a man leaving to fight in the Civil War. The song balanced a more upbeat tone and rhythm with a more sober and solemn ending, with the man comforting a loved one by telling them that he would come home again.

The song used an echo through some singers singing a line followed by others repeating it, giving it a livelier feeling and emphasizing certain parts. However, towards the end the tone shifted, and their voices became gentler, ending on a subdued final note ringing out into the air.

The final part of the concert was a performance of “We Are One” by Brian Tate. The song started softly with pianist Freda Li playing a soft version of the tune. Then, drummer Nate Arnstein set the foundation for the rhythm. And then, the singing began.

At first the song was light and soft, with a cheerful tone. The singing, slowly, began to get louder and the voices projected across the stage. Finally, with the full chorus, voices boomed. The themes of unity were perfectly articulated not only through the lyrics but through the delivery.

Li provided a fantastic backdrop for the music, and Arnstein’s drumming helped grab the audience into the song with his rhythm. The amazing support of the instrumentation was excellent in the ending, where the piano and drums were highlighted with the vocals, adding weight and strength to the triumphant end.

The songs in the concert often dealt with sorrowful topics or had somber tones, but ultimately, the sadness was balanced by a brighter aspect, with the final song having a positive message of being together. In life, with sadness comes happiness and hope for the future.