On Sunday Feb. 23, the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra performed in Wadsworth Auditorium, displaying its abilities with music by well-known composers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Ludwig van Beethoven. An audience of students and local residents of all ages was in attendance, and the orchestra immediately captured everyone’s attention with the very first note.
The orchestra introduced its talents with a powerful rendition of “Marche Slave,” composed by Tchaikovsky in 1876. Tchikovsky wrote “Marche Slave” during the Serbo-Turkish War, for a benefit concert for wounded soldiers. The march was an astounding way to begin the performance, with strong crescendos and entrances that demonstrated the strengths of all members of the orchestra.
Throughout the piece’s entirety, the musicians blended their sounds beautifully with one another. The wind instruments could be heard over the strong string section, their sounds reaching throughout the entire auditorium. With smoother sections and more staccato points, the orchestra displayed its capability of playing Tchaikovsky’s complicated work.
The second piece began with a more understated and soft introduction – very different from the first composition. It was another work by Tchaikovsky, the “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.” With silkier sounds and aggressive crescendos, the overture emulates a classic story and transports audience members directly to the tragedy. The delicate noises of the harp, woodwinds and string instruments created an undertone of love. This harmonious theme throughout the piece was interjected with loud symbol clashes.
After a brief intermission, the orchestra performed its final piece, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37, a symphony in three parts. This orchestration introduced guest pianist professor of music and Chair of the Music Department Jonathan Gonder. Throughout all three sections of the piece, Gonder’s hands glided over the piano keys effortlessly, providing a truly spectacular performance that earned him a standing ovation.
In all three pieces, Gonder’s piano solos partnered with the rest of the orchestra, and all sounds blended together to uphold the beauty of Beethoven’s work. Instead of the orchestra only supporting the pianist, the pianist and orchestra supported each other throughout each section of the piece.
The symphony orchestra conveyed a strong sense of dedication in its performance, exhibiting all of its young musicians’ capabilities.