Looking for Jazz Listening Guidelines? Click HERE.
NOTE: Missing an evening marching rehearsal=one listening assignment. Missing a concert, parade, or game performance=three listening assignments OR one listening assignment that is three pages in length.
You will need tracks by different artists for your papers if you are submitting mulitiple assignments. iTunes is getting more classical solo recordings every day, try a search such as "classical saxophone." You could also take a run to your local library to see if they have classical solo CDs.
Please note that small ensembles may be substituted for an assignment for the following instruments: Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Bassoon, Saxophone, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, and Percussion. Also, euphonium players may use trombone solo recordings, and bass/contra clarinet players may use clarinet recordings.
Specifications: 12 point font, at least 400 words per page
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to listen to one of the songs on the CD and write a review for someone who has never heard this particular track before. Use as much of your musical vocabulary as possible to describe what you are hearing (see list of terms below for help.) To do this properly, you will need to listen to the track many times.
Audience: Readers of a “fine arts” section in a newspaper.
Role: Your role is as a classical critic for the above publication. You should read some reviews (John Von Rein from the Chicago Tribune, etc.) for examples to guide you in your review writing.
Assignment: You are writing for a newspaper or magazine whose readership has an understanding of classical music. This will enable you to discuss in some detail what it is that you are hearing using musical terms. You can do this by discussing tone, phrasing, intonation, articulation, dynamics, range, etc. You should, however, assume the reader has never heard this particular piece before, so be as descriptive as possible. You may include your opinion on the song, but be sure to back up your opinionwith specific examples from the piece. The question that the reader is asking you is: “Should I spend $17.99 on this CD or not, and why?”
IMPORANT: After your “article” you MUST include one paragraph that relates directly to your own development. What aspects of this artist’s performance would you like to emulate? Even if you don’t particularly “like” the artist, performance, or composition, there will be something about their musicianship from which you can learn.
SOME MUSICAL VOCABULARY TERMS/CONCEPTS TO AID IN WRITING YOUR REVIEW
Instrumentation (accompanied, unaccompanied, with piano, with orchestra, etc.)
Here is an example from Evan Dickerson:
Lorenzo PALOMO (b.1938): Andalusian Nocturnes (1995)/ Spanish Songs (1986)
Pepe Romero (guitar); Maria Bayo (soprano) Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos rec. Sala Apolo, Seville, 29 August-2 September 2000. DDD
Review by Evan Dickerson
The Naxos Spanish Classics series continues to grow apace. The inclusion of contemporary composers, as here, raises the question of how such recent works as these acquire ‘classic’ status. General popularity and number of performances are two indicators, though they are not necessarily linked; however in respect of Lorenzo Palomo’s music there is some correlation.
From first phrase to last there is no mistaking the overtly Spanish flavour of Palomo’s music, though more specifically it owes much to the characteristics of Andalusian composition with its Jewish and Moorish elements. Palomo’s idiom is rooted in an easily grasped tonality that displays a great interest in exploring the textures and rhythmic configurations that can be achieved by the instrumental groups at his disposal.
This lends the outward appearance of an extended series of tone poems to the six movements that comprise the Andalusian Nocturnes. Given that each movement is titled (A Toast to the Night, Gust of Wind and The Flamenco Stage, for example) it is not hard to guess at the music’s approximate mood. In actuality this is a large-scale concertante work for guitar and orchestra, during which the soloist weaves a line into and against the wider textures employed. The solo part bears obvious references to the Spanish classical guitar school, both in terms of material and exhibition of technique. However Palomo also seeks to explore the impressionistic nuances of shade, shadow and darkness that the instrument possesses. Pepe Romero, for whom the work was written, gives an assured reading and Fruhbeck de Burgos conducted the work’s world premiere in 1996, here drawing playing of some sensitivity.