Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich


September 10, 2009 · No Comments

I am a huge fan of classical music, so when I heard that we would have the opportunity to go to hear Sir Peter Maxwell Davies speak and attend the Proms, I was delighted!  Sir Peter is one of the most prominent British composers alive.  He has written hundreds of pieces and holds the title of Master of the Queen’s Music.  (A purely ceremonial role that allows him to write music that requires a very large number of people to perform.  After all, if the piece is being premiered before the Queen, who wouldn’t want to participate?)  Despite all of Sir Peter’s many accomplishments, the thing that struck me most about his talk is how much he truly loves and appreciates music.  He said in the discussion that “the future holds as much music as I can cram into it!”

A piece of music should be a journey that tells as simple or complex a story as the composer wishes.  Although Sir Peter’s Violin Concerto No. 2 ‘Fiddler on the Shore’ was not my favorite piece of the evening, I greatly enjoyed the story of the piece.  (Now, bare with me as this may read as a little bit far-fetched and listening slightly too much into the music.)  I heard the soloist as being one person who was trying to find his path and was confused among the peaceful, smooth, soothing noises of the sea (orchestra).  Throughout the piece, the soloist becomes much more certain of his path in life, and thus the playing of the violin by the soloist became much smoother, mimicking the “sea” orchestra of earlier.  However, when this happens, the orchestra’s playing became much more violent and choppy, which caused the soloist to dive back into the confusion he experienced at the beginning of the piece.  In the end, the soloist and the sea come together in peace.  To me, the piece was a depiction of the soloist searching for clarity in the world.

Categories: Kelley

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below..

You must log in to post a comment.