Giuseppe, Mario & Luigi

This is a review of the November 6, 2011 concert by the Canton Symphony Orchestra

I’m going to let Callum do most of the talking on this one (I can hear the cheers now).
Just a few quick thoughts:

  • Another fantastic concert from the orchestra (but that’s no surprise).
  • Associate Conductor Matthew Brown’s musical leadership was top-notch; very impressive. For more about that, click here.
  • Thanks to Victor Borge, I can’t hear the name Giuseppe Verdi without thinking “Joe Green” (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here).
  • Callum turned to me at the beginning of the Verdi and asked if he could write whatever the music makes him think of, and now I know why:

Take it away, Callum…

The man who talked about the music before the concert said that Verdi wrote the first 3 loud notes in this piece to sound like fate knocking on the door, but when I heard them in the concert, I thought of Bowser stomping in Super Mario Galaxy. The next part (that’s supposed to sound like something bad is going to happen), to me sounded like Bowser’s music when Mario is battling him. Then Bowser stomps away mad (with the same 3 notes). The first beautiful part, with oboe and clarinet, sounds like Mario floating in space, thinking he beat Bowser. The music in that part of the video game actually sounds a lot like it. But then we hear Bowser’s battle music again in the background… he’s coming back. Then the really beautiful part with all the strings sounds like a perfect theme for Princess Peach, and you hear Bowser sneaking up on her to kidnap her. But here comes Mario to the rescue, to battle Bowser again! He chases Bowser away, and then Peach gives Mario a kiss to thank him, and they go for a walk and decide to get married. Then the music gets really fast again, and that’s Luigi running to tell them that Bowser’s coming back! Then we hear what sounds like wedding music, with fast parts that are Luigi coming to ruin it all (and of course he trips over the cake). The rest of the music is a combination of more battles, chases, and Luigi’s usual clumsiness. But after all that, there’s a happy ending! (I think I might make a video some time about how this piece would make good music for the Mario game, and I really want to design video games and write the music for them someday!)

After the Verdi was over at the concert, everything got dark, and 3 big screens came down out of the ceiling. I was really surprised, and didn’t know what to do, because I couldn’t see to take notes. But my dad told me to just try to remember everything. I loved hearing them play the fanfare (Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man), because I had never heard it played live before. It was so loud. It was awesome. And the pictures on the screens were beautiful. They were of different beautiful places in the United States. They went really well with the music. As soon as the fanfare was over (and the ending was really loud!), all the lights went off for a few seconds (even the lights on the music stands), which was really cool. Then the music stand lights turned back on, and everyone clapped really loud. They really liked it.

Then they played the Philip Glass piece. I loved the music, and they showed really old pictures that I guess were taken right before the Civil War. It was so cool to see pictures that were taken so long ago.

And then it was time for Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. The first part was just for orchestra, without the narrator. There were more really old pictures, but this time they were from during the war. Some of them were really sad, and a little scary, because they showed a lot of dead soldiers, and how terribly the slaves were treated. They made me really sad. When the narrator started to talk, there were a lot of pictures of Lincoln. The music was great, and the narrator was, too. He did a really good job. The piece had a really loud and exciting ending, and everyone clapped and cheered. The whole orchestra stood up, and the man who did all the slides came up on stage and took a bow with the narrator and Mr. Brown, the conductor. Then there was intermission.

After intermission, they played Pachelbel’s Canon, which was really beautiful. And the pictures they showed were so beautiful, too.  They were new pictures, in color, of a family that grows all their food on their farm, and sells some of it too. The kids were really cute, and their toys were all made of wood. They didn’t have any TV or video games, and they read books a lot and they all worked on the farm and got really dirty. They seemed to be really happy and have a lot of fun. Where they lived (I guess it’s somewhere in Ohio) was so beautiful.  And that was the last music with pictures.

Only the string instruments were on stage to play the Pachelbel, so then the rest of the orchestra came back on stage to play the last piece, which was by Mendelssohn (Symphony No. 4). It’s really exciting. I really liked watching Mr. Brown conduct. He is really good. He gets the orchestra to sound really good, just like Mr. Zimmermann. I think the Mendelssohn in some parts is the prettiest piece for orchestra I have ever heard. The second movement has a big contrast with the first movement, the third movement is a little like the second, and then the last movement is more like the first again, but even more exciting.

I’m so glad that there’s a great orchestra so close to where we live and where people around Canton live. When I go to the concerts, I see so many people there, and I can understand why. And I hope to see more kids around my age there, too.


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One Response to “Giuseppe, Mario & Luigi”

  • Mark Gibson:

    C-Man, Great review! It’s nice to read a review relevant to someone other than old people (even though I’m an old people)! And even though I don’t play video games very well, I could see your description very clearly. I really like Fanfare for the Common Man too.

    Keep enjoying!

    Take Care.


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