On Thursday, February 18, I attended the senior recital of mezzo-soprano singer Charity Barker at Oral Roberts University. Usually, I am not one to pick out concerts for vocal qualities. I tend to prefer the more instrumental performances. However, I did attend Ms. Barker’s recital and feel it was a good experience for me.
Ms. Barker has a strong vibrant voice. As vocal majors are required, Ms. Barker sang songs in Italian, German, French, and British and American English. Since I do not understand most of those languages, I followed along in the little flier in the bulletin. I was surprised at the depressive lyrics to several of the songs. The song Son tutta duolo especially was full of saddened lyrics.
The Italian piece, Orontea somehow reminded me of aristocratic gardens as one would watch out a large window pane. It seemed to flow gently. Even though I could not understand the lyrics, they held the quality which made me think of a lady missing her lad who was away.
As I listened to the music, I took notes so I could write some of the feelings I was having as I listened. I described the German music as heavier and darker than the other pieces. Of the German pieces I wrote, “Tries to be light and jovial but doesn’t quite make it.” The German pieces somehow had a heavier sound. Perhaps it was the guttural sound of the German tongue or just the style of those pieces. The American pieces by Gershwin held a light sound with a hint of frivolity.
Overall, I think I gained a better understanding of what the different language styles and at least a little more appreciation of vocal music by itself.
On Thursday, October 29, I had the pleasure of attending the senior recital of Joy Pittman. Joy plays the oboe. I have never before paid a lot of attention to the sound of the oboe itself. I was amazed to hear such pure notes. Personally, I’m tend to not like very much vibrato except in a violin, so I really enjoyed the pure clean notes Joy played. In comparison to the oboe, Joy’s sister Jamie played the flute in a oboe-flute-piano trio at the recital. While, the flute is a nice instrument but the breathy-pipe sound of the flute was almost distracting compared to what I consider the beauty of the well-played oboe.
Please note: Both Joy and Jamie Pittman are excellent players. These comments are on my personal preference about instruments not players.
Especially lately, I’ve found myself with a desire to hear more classical music. I finally borrowed one of my brother’s compact discs of Baroque music so I can play it in my room. [Who knows maybe Humanities has really inspired me!] This recital was an enjoyable time that I shared with several friends as we listened to a variety of musical pieces including a Mozart quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello. Mozart’s style had a different sound to it which went beyond the addition of instruments. I don’t think I can put my finger on it, but the Mozart piece had a very distinctive style untypical of the other pieces at the recital.
By attending this concert I was able to hear the oboe played and really listen to this double-reed instrument. I now have a better appreciation of the oboe. The next time I attend an event with an orchestra I will probably try and pick out the clean, crisp notes of the oboe.