By Dongyoung Kim
The Concert of Two Orchestras featuring both TCNJ Orchestra and Bravura Youth Orchestra was held on Sunday, Feb. 23, in Mayo Concert Hall.
TCNJ Orchestra, led by conductor Michel Galante, opened the performance with “Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op.129,” composed by R. Schumann. Galante was accompanied by Dr. Alistair Macrae, a faculty soloist at the College, performed the solo part.
“It has very romantic sound because it is a Romanic piece,” sophomore music performance major Cristina Villagomez said. “But it also has some sections where it is very impressive.”
The orchestra consists of nine different instruments but mainly focuses on the deep and sincere sound of string instruments that provoked emotions in the audience.
“I thought the performance was phenomenal,” junior music education major Thomas Ploskonka said.
The musical piece consists of three movements: “Nichr zu schnell,” “Langsam” and “Sehr Lebhaft.”
Despite the contrast in emotion and tempo between the movements, all three sections come together as a whole to express an emotion.
“This is very much about expression,” Schumann, the conductor, said while describing the piece. “This music embodies poetry — a kind of poetic sensibility.”
Despite the excellent performance by TCNJ Orchestra, the highlight of the event came when Bravura Youth Orchestra played “Provincial Suite — Five Portraits of Rural China,” composed by one of its violinists, Matthew Liu, who is still a senior in high school.
This musical piece captures the Chinese culture, using five different movements: “The Great Wall,” “Village Life,” “Work Song,” “Peasant Pas de Deux” and “Final Celebration.”
By incorporating eastern cultural influence with the orchestral performance, Liu created a unique experience few have experienced before, and this uniqueness seemed to bring pleasure to many of the audiences’ ears as demonstrated by a partial standing ovation.
“Lots of composition is starting with a spark,” Liu said. “Sometimes it’s an inspiration of emotion or actual melody that I hear in my head.”
Bravura Youth Orchestra is a youth orchestra consisting of high school musicians. The organization brings together talented youth musicians who reside in New Jersey under the leadership of Music Director Chiu-Tze Lin.
“It’s a tight-knit group,” said concertmaster Nayoung Yang.
The other pieces performed by Bravura Youth Orchestra included “Concerto No.3 for Violin and Orchestra, Op.61” by Saint-Saens, “String Quartet No.1 ‘From My Life’” by Smetana and “Carnival of Venice for Flue and Orchestra” by Genin.