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1  In-Class Critiques / Classical Concert Critiques / Re: Faculty Guitar Recital 11/24 on: December 04, 2009, 09:02:41 pm
I attended the Faculty Guitar Concert at Miami Dade College that was held on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm in the McCarthy Auditorium. I usually don't expect that many people to show up to these things, but to my surprise, again, it was PACKED. I waited for my friend Ariamna to get to school and we met up in the front of the auditorium. Yes, she will be my concert buddy forever now. Smiley Thankfully we got there early, if not we would have been stuck trying to find a seat because the waiting line outside the door was huge. We snatched two concert programs so we could entertain ourselves while waiting for the doors to open. When we finally made our way inside, the smart person I was with [Ariamna] decided to sit all the way in the back. I didnt mind until the first performer came out. I could barely hear him. He didnt even bother trying to use the microphone that was right in front of his face. Like really?!?! But its all good.

The opening performer was Juan Carlos Vera. He played three songs with an acoustic guitar: Ojos Brujos by Leo Brouwer, El Marabino by Antonio Laur, and Gigue by Manuel Ponce. Since the titles of these songs weren't in the concert program, Vera gave us the titles and the composers at the end of the concert. But anywho, the songs were amazing. They had this spanish feel to them with soft melodies and slow tempo's that gradually picked up and later went back to slow. I loved it. I felt like I was in the countryside of Spain or something. Even though I was all the way in the back of the auditorium I could still see how fast his hands were. Talk about skills! The second performer was Carlos Molina. He gave us some background information on the songs he was playing and told us how he had just came from Venezuela two days prior to the concert. He also used an acoustic guitar. The songs were Venezuelen: a Waltz that nearly put me to sleep and a Spanish dance that had a faster tempo. It was nice, but I enjoyed Vera's performance more than Molina's. Vera showed more soul, like he became one with his guitar. Molina was like any other typical, robotic guitar player.

I'll be honest, I knocked out during “Lullaby of Birdland” by George Shearing. You could ask Ariamna cause she gave me her shoulder for comfort. (I guess they didnt name it Lullaby for no reason.) It was played by Jon Dadurka on the electric bass, and Matt Bonelli and Rafael Valencia on the guitar. One thing I did notice about this song though is that Amy Winehouse sampled it for her "October song" which I found amazing!!! Amy's version is sooo much better. I love her. Smiley....The next song was “Fools Rush In” by Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom. Sandy Poltarack played this song. He gave some background information about it and even quoted the last line of the lyrics. I found that stupid even thoug the whole audience was like "awww!!". Whatever. It was alright, but I dont even like that song so on to the next subject. “Juicy Lucy” by Horace Silver was next which was played by Sandy Poltarack, and Jon Dadurka who was on the cello. The Jazzyness of this song woke me up. I loved it. “They can’t take that away from me” by George and Ira Gershwin came after. It was arranged by Ted Greene and played by Tom Lippincott. This song was alright. I wish they would've have played it like this though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f93P5iF8OWs&feature=related (with an accompanying trumpet. I would have melted on the chair. Check it out, the trumpet solo in the beginning is mind blowing.)...“Luteous Pangolin” by Ben Monder sounded like elevator music to me. The guitar was played by Tom Lippincott, Matt Bonelli on bass, and Jack Ciano on drums.

The last two songs were great. First one was “Cold Duck Time” by Eddie Harris. Mitch Farber was on the guitar (he was awesome), Matt Bonelli on the bass, and Jack Ciano on drums. Everyone loved this song. I guess cause everyone woke up finally! Haa. Just kidding. They ended the concert with “Tune 88” by Jeff Lorber. Mitch Farber was on the guitar and killed it again, Tom Lippincott was on guitar also, Rafael Valencia on bass, and Jack Ciano on the drums. Both these songs had really fast tempo's and made the room fill up with life. This concert was good. I enjoyed it, especially after taking my much needed 15 minute nap. I'd have to say that my favorite performances were all of Vera's songs, and Cold Duck Time. I'm really looking forward the next one! Cheesy
2  The Lectern / MUL 1010 Q&A / Re: Chopin... on: November 06, 2009, 12:41:00 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEuWoa4bwLw


Thats the scene.   Grin


I love this song!!!
3  The Lectern / MUL 1010 Q&A / Chopin... on: November 04, 2009, 11:55:30 am
Do you know which Chopin song it is that "Szpilman" plays for the German officer at the house where he was hiding? Its a scene towards the end of the movie. Is it even a Chopin song? Huh



...I'm referring to the movie "The Pianist" that I talked about with you after class yesterday. The song is Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23. Can I use this song for my paper?
4  In-Class Critiques / Classical Concert Critiques / Re: Broadway in Review 10/22 on: October 29, 2009, 08:27:53 pm
It was a Thursday night, October 22, 2009, and I was stuck sitting on a school bench waiting for my friend Ariamna to get there so we could finally enter the M building and situate ourselves inside The Studio Theater (Room M113) where the concert "Broadway in Review" was being held. I really needed a friend to accompany me because the word Broadway isnt quite my cup of tea, and I was not about to sit there without someone to hold on to if the world came to an end for an hour and a half. To my surprise, the experience was far from a nightmare although it did have a few dissappointments.

   
As we patiently waited for the show to start, I took out my notebook to write down every thing that happened in full detail. I was astonished at how many people actually came to see the event, but their faces all seemed to have the same expression of "I just got here, but when will it end?!". Anyway, the anouncer finally came out and introduced our stars of the night; Ken Blatt, Baritone, and Sheila Barish, Piano Soloist.

Blatt began by giving us a short speech about what he was going to sing. (I was getting a tad bit annoyed because the moron sitting behind me would not stop playing air hockey on his iphone with his friend. No respect!) And so it began. I just want to say that Ken has an amazing set of lungs. His deep, Baritone voice is like the epitome of a Broadway voice. It was charming and seemed to have caught the attention of the whole crowd. (I know this because buddy stopped playing air hockey.) Now, I dont really know much about singing, but I know when someone's pitch is on point. At first Blatt was doing great, but there were some songs where I really didnt want him hitting high notes. (i.e "Dancing Queen." In my opinion, this was not a good song for Ken). Not to mention the speaker on the left side of the stage was having static problems which only made his pitch sound even more worse. Another thing that gave me the urge to just take out my ipod and ignore the show was the fact that you could barely hear the piano over Blatt's voice. Thankfully some of the music for specific songs was played from actual soundtracks. (Ken would turn on a device that was sitting on a stand and switched the songs from there.)  These woke me up a bit, songs like "Man La Mancha" and "The Impossible Dream". The tempo varied from song to song some were in duple and others were in triple. Some dynamics were forte, mezzo piano, even pianissimo for the really slow songs. Blatts swagger would match every song. He'd be extra happy for fast songs and marched his way up and down the stage, and for slow songs he'd just stand there and made hand gestures with a depressed look on his face. He really needs to improve his dance moves because it got boring after a while. (I could'nt stop laughing to myself though because my mom would'nt stop calling me during the "Bring Him Home" song. What a coincidence eh?)

I believe Blatt did a fairly good job. At one point he had stumled over a stool that was on the stage (this was during "No Business Like Show Business". Quite hilarious if you ask me.), but it didnt hinder his performance, and he had also forgotten the lyrics to "Man La Mancha." (This made me wonder if he, at any time during the show, just made up his own lyrics for some songs. It was indeed a great number of songs to remember. I would'nt blame him.) During the "Everythings Coming Up Roses" song (very lively song by the way. One of my favorites along with "What Kind of Fool Am I".) I had noticed two elderly women sitting in the front row who were singing along. I watched them for a while after that, and they knew the lyrics to every song! It actually made me realize how people appreciated this type of music back in the day. If it weren't for those women I don't think I would have evaluated the night in a more positive way. Blatt ended the show with a little bit of humor and "Give My Regards To Broadway." Everyone joined in by clapping to the beat, and that was it. I wish I would have went up to him like some people did to shake his hand and tell him "your suit is fresh!" Cheesy
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