Concert Report on Grace Burns, Piano

Unlike other forms of arts, music is an art that you will hear almost every day; however, Grace Burns has received a valuable education while pursuing her Master’s degree in Music. It has transformed her life and those of other many individuals making them prosper in life. Besides, the report encompasses performances by a pianist, Grace Burns whereby she featured previous works by Franz Schubert, Missy Mazzolli, Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin.

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, I went to Grusin Music Hall, Imig Music Building and watched an event on piano by Grace Burns. The University of Colorado hosted the event, and Grace Burns was presenting her master’s recital. The event started at 7:30 PM and ended at 8:30 PM. From what I experienced in that show, I could rate Grace Burns among the most talented and outstanding artists. However, the following are the names of the pieces performed by Grace Burns and the individuals who composed them.

First, Grace Burns performed “Sonata in C minor, D. 958” by Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828). The piece style was romantic, and it had four movements that include Allegro, Adagio, and Menuetto: Allegro-Trio and Allegro. Even though the choice of key C minor for this particular piece was a significant one, the first movement showed disquiet and restlessness. Besides, as though the movement was unable to withstand the disquiet, it ended in resignation (Damschroder 2010). The second movement then opened with a serene melody in A- flat. However, the grinding presence of gloominess was still intruding. The third movement, Menuetto, brought some tranquility but its graceful dancing pulse was put away by the fast upbeat tempo of the concluding Allegro. I enjoyed the first piece performed by Grace because it was emotional and brought some calmness.

There was an intermission before Grace Burns performed her second piece “Isabelle Eberhardt Dreams of Piano” by Missy Mazzolli (b.1980). This is the piece that I loved most since it opened with distant pre-recorded and processed sounds from the keyboard. It produced a plaintive melody that gently rocked with repeated notes. The chords increased in frequency and intensity. The performer did not struggle when performing this music. It was interesting to understand that Schubert’s works inspired the song by Missy Mazzolli. The third piece that Grace Burns performed was Transcendental Etude No. 11 (Harmonies du Soir) by Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886). In her performance, Grace introduced the piece with slow, broken octave and chords. The main theme of the song was later introduced followed by harmonies changing with each note. I did not enjoy the second piece of music since the artist struggled to make it perfect. Parts of this piece was extremely technical since it entailed multiple pages of repetition and chordal jumps. It required the artist to use a lot of stamina.

Lastly, she performed “Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor” by Alexander Scriabin (1872 – 1915). The piece had two movements that included Andante and Presto. Similarly, its style combined romanticism with impressionistic music. Andante, which is the first movement, began with an echoing effect and followed by two themed sections. The second movement (Presto) contrasted with the first movement since it was fast and involved high intensity. The music was interesting, and I enjoyed a lot. However, the piece was technically and musically demanding for Grace Burns. The music was written for large hands, but Grace Burns managed to handle it well. I was astonished by the way Grace Burns played the music. It was soft and delicate; however, when she paused, you could compare it with the loudest chords. All the music played by Grace Burns were almost similar to the ones we played in class, but they varied in their tonal structure. The program was well balanced, and the performance took the exact time it was allocated. Grace Burns followed the program systematically from the first item to the last, and we enjoyed most parts of her performance.


Works Cited

Damschroder, David. Harmony in Schubert. Cambridge University Press, 2010.


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