Concert Criticism

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TheTurandot opera was played at NYC on 30thJune 2015 and broadcasted in Cineplex Cinemas, Halifax. Puccini diedin 1924 during which the opera was still unfinished. Franco Alfanocompleted it in 1926[ CITATION Ash91 l 1033 ].

Thisopera comprised of three acts done by Giacomo Puccini and completedby Franco Alfano. Reneto Simoni and Giuseppe Adama set the opera to alibretto in Italian. The storyline is based on Turan-Dokhtwho was a daughter of Turan. The story is set in China and revolvesaround prince Calaf. The prince had fallen in love with Turandot. Inorder to get permission to marry Turandot, it was required that thesuitor solves three riddles and any wrong answer could have resultedin death. Calaf was lucky enough to pass the three tests but Turadotrefused to marry him. Calaf asked Turadot to learn his name beforedawn after which if she did, he, Calaf was to die.

Actone was characterized by thrilling choreography that gives the play abrilliant theatrical spectacle. The palace for the emperor wasblindingly opulent. The staging appeared less successful, which Ithink is a tricky aspect of the play itself since the intimatemoments at act three are unconvincing. This made the resolutionunconvincing. Nevertheless, this appeared to be of less concern toNina who had managed to show that vulnerability in the exchange. Sherelied mostly on imposing power of the title of her role to create asternly menacing interpretation.

Liuappeared as the most ecstatic. She was more impressive than in thelast two seasons when she was acting as Mimì.From the first impression, her craftiness of dramatic and vocalcharacter was evident. She managed to communicate through singing ofher tormented love. Puccini’sdesign of using vocal to expression ideas is evident. This makes theplay exceptionally interesting. Nevertheless, for some characterslike Marco Berti, detecting any real message from his singing wasdifficult despite the fact that his intonation and volume werelargely reliable. Supporting cast was outstanding, especially TimurAlexanderTsymbalyuk who was acting as old king. He had demonstrated rich,spacious bass-baritone and mahogany-colored pathos.

Theplaying of “Nessun dorma” was done so perfectly that the audiencewished it was played back without the interference of tenor. Paolowas occasionally blustered through intimate sections and ensemblethat made the ragged sections of first act. On larger scale, thedirection of performance was a huge success. Puccini managed to usecombined effects of chorus and orchestra to play up sheer size ofmusic while maintaining pulsing energy throughout what couldotherwise be boring and crowded scenes.

AndreLaplante play: Tchaikovsky

Thisconcert was done on Thursday, February 18th2016 at Rebecca Cohn Auditorium Halifax. Tchaikovsky was composed byAndré Laplante the uncompromising Quebec pianist. AndréLaplante is a renowned Canadian pianist and has won silver medalsduring international Tchaikovsky Competition[ CITATION Hat11 l 1033 ].

Thewhole performance was full of Laplante’s leonine style, profoundmusicality and titanic power. This could have been mistaken withgolden age of the past piano aristocrats such as Arturo Benedetto andJosef Lhevinne. The Laplante’s deep emotions and sensitivitytranscended the techniques in a way that even the small memory lapsesand few missed notes couldn’t have marred the grand landscape thathe created in his performance.

Theopening of the concert was ecstatic with Fugue, Adagio and Bach in CMajor for the organ as transcribed by famous pupil, Busoni. The slowrigor of Bach observed through Vaseline lens filters of 19thcentury managed to craft masterfully the crescendo-decrescendo.

Inthe Piano Sonato No 3 by Mozart, Laplante stole the show by producingvirtually orchestral colors characterized by inner voicing thatbalanced the melodic lines in a very smooth manner similar to thesound produced by wind as it moves over a fluid.

Inhis detailing of three excerpts from the Schubert’s MomentsMusicaux, the flat major was lovely with an incomparable nuancedsound.

InSonata No. 26 of “Les Adieux”, Op. 81a when Beethoven wanted toinduce feelings evoked by the departure, absence and return of afriend, the octave leaps and hunting horn calls heard as if from adistance were beautifully colored. Laplante has managed to expertlyconvey the essence of work with anticipation and urgency. TheLaplante’s last movement seemed to be filched at a thoroughbredgallop which was a true “vivacissimamente” to a joyousconclusion.

Inthe second half of the performance, the piano repertoire took overusing the Liszt’s B minor Sonata. In overall, the show was a majorrepresentation of the evolving monumental composition of Laplante. When compared with Puccini, Laplante was also full of stamina, energyand confidence. While Puccini was more of an actor, Laplante is amusician. Nevertheless, the Puccini and Laplante performances wererapturous and were performed with poetic lyricism.

Personally,the two plays were not only entertaining but informing. They havecontributed to the improvement of my listening skills and take noteof the structures and all facets of musicality. There is absolutelyno more surreal than attending and listening to someone whosecompositions you truly admire. By attending the two concerts, I feltthe touch and insights of live performances. The powerful use oflanguage to convey different meanings, such as use of change of tonein Puccini when playingof “Nessun dorma”, as well as use of piano repertoire in Liszt’sB minor Sonata by Laplante is still very fresh in my mind. This hasmade me develop an overwhelmingdesire to compose my own works (either music or short play) toexpress different ideas in real life, especially since I have a greatinterest in developing talents amongst the youths and minority in thesociety.

Thetwo works of art managed to convey every scene beautifully. Forinstance, the movement on stage in Turandot was fluid and swimming.The oriental gowns, giant fans and gleaming of weapons when light wasshone on them were reflected to the audience with a blindingbrilliance, a perfect expression of art. Also, the Laplante, theperformance was so exquisite that it took my breath away. Thecreativity of the authors in the two plays was outstanding. Despitesome issues that I perceived to be lacking in the two performances,such as poor voice expression by Calaf in Puccini, the two plays werein all comportment captivating, informative and presented impressiveworks of art. The two pieces had one thing in common they appearedimprovised with self-searching beginnings developing into passionwith enormous intensity. The performances had insightful sensitivity,dazzling virtuosity and power, and rich imagination that arecharacteristic of talented artists.


Ashbrook,W., &amp Powers, H. (1991). Puccini`sTurandot: the end of the great tradition.Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Hathaway,T. (2011). Common Decency. Queen`sQuarterly, 88(1),122.