Amber This review consists of my opinion on three music videos from three different genres of music. I have chosen the following videos to do my review on: 1. Classical: Lang Lang performs Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 (passionate’), third movement. 2. Jazz: Glen Miller Orchestra performing In the Mood. 3. Modern: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (members of Led Zeppelin) playing Kashmir. This assignment took on a broader meaning then Just critiquing music. It has expanded my horizons regarding music as well.
I hope other people will be exposed o the various types of music that exists and will receive as much enjoyment from It as I have. I will start my review with the genre of Classical Music. I have chosen Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 (passionate’), third movement, being performed by Lang Lang. For this particular piece, only one instrument is needed: a piano and that is all that appears on the stage in this video. The stage itself is very bland, kind of generic looking. There is nothing colorful or exciting about the stage. It reminds me of an old elementary schools’ auditorium.
I’m assuming the music will more than make up for he rather old and dreary looking stage. The only prop’ on stage is a beautiful piano with a gentleman In a tuxedo seated on the bench. This is Lang Lang. As he starts to play the keys of the piano, I am first struck by how long and lean his fingers appear to be. Then he proceeds to play faster and I am In awe at how nimble his fingers move over the Plano keys. HIS fingers move with such an incredible swiftness that It makes you wonder If your eyes are actually seeing this. Along with the unbelievable movements of his hands, Lang starts to exhibit some rather interesting facial expressions.
But my eyes kept coming back to his hands. I’m afraid I spent so much time watching his hands that the actual sounds he was producing on the piano didn’t really matter. So, I watched the video over again. The interpretation of this piece was pretty much just average as far as I am concerned. Even though Lang Lang plays with such amazing speed and dexterity; there Just isn’t much emotion felt when he strikes the piano keys. It seems like he was playing “by the book” and it was more like a procedure for him to play. In saying that, I am Just expressing my opinion.
The piece was done ‘correctly and e plays extraordinary well, however, I did not want to see or hear the performance again. I will say this about Lang Lang however; he can play the piano with a swiftness and nimbleness that few men can. I am going to listen to other performances by him and see if I can ;feel’ him in the music because in this particular piece, I did not. Orchestra performing ‘In the Mood’. This video was pleasantly surprising. What a wonderfully Jazzy and up-beat song! Glenn Miller and his Orchestra give an incredibly strong performance. The video is in black and white, and that actually ads to the charm of the song.
The orchestra is seated in even, parallel rows and there is such unison and harmony between the band members that your eyes and ears want to see/ hear everything at once. The stage was very basic; there were only curtains for the background, yet it did not appear drab or dreary as in the classical video I had Just reviewed (see review #1). There was almost every type of instrument involved, except for string instruments. I only noticed a bass cello. And there was no piano or violins. However, there was almost every type of reed and wind instrument you would want to hear.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra consists of trumpets, saxophones, horns, drums, bass cello and even cowbells. The musicians handle their instruments with such ease and professionalism and they are totally in synch with each other. All of this comes across to the viewer throughout the video. The band seems to really enjoy themselves as well. Perhaps it is this enjoyment of the music they are playing that comes through to the listener. This song had it all… It’s fast, loud, and very uplifting and it makes a person want to dance and/or play the song over and over again. It also has some softer, quieter moments too.
All I know is that I truly enjoyed this song and I wish everyone could hear it. One thing for certain, I am going to be listening too lot more of Glenn Miller’s music! I give this performance five stars or five thumbs up! My final review is in the Modern music era. I chose Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (members of Led Zeppelin) playing the song ‘Kashmir’. My first thoughts are about the stage and the background colors. The stage [s somewhat dark and ominous. There are lots of purples and dark blues; sort of black light purples and dark universe blues. Robert Plant wears a dark maroon color shirt, which adds to the darkness on stage.
If not for his blonde hair adding some lightness, he would have blended right into the background. There are a lot of musicians on stage which makes it look somewhat crowded. Plant and Page utilize an orchestra for this song and it’s a good thing they do. In my opinion, the orchestra makes this performance outstanding. Plant still has great stage presence and his straining on vocals throughout the song isn’t that obvious; however, if the orchestra hadn’t been playing, it would have been quite noticeable. As far as the musicality of this song, it is superb due to the orchestra.
This orchestra consists of numerous violins, cellos, and an organ, various reed instruments, bongo drums, Arab Strings, Egyptian Bamboo Flutes and a few other instruments I don’t know the names of. Added to all these instruments are your standard western electric guitar, drums and bass, you have the makings off most impressive song. The violinists’ and the percussionists are fabulous. The violinist who does a solo about half way through is simply incredible! If this is an example of Western Music fusing with Eastern Music, then we have a lot of magnificent music to look forward to; and maybe music can alp bring the world closer together.
It’s unfortunate the general population doesn’t get enough exposure to the different genres of music that are available. People would be surprised to find out that they like classical or opera music. Even if a person doesn’t like classical music, if it’s combined with another type of music like styles are separate. As long as bands like Led Zeppelin keep fusing the different types of music genres, then I have a strong feeling that music long forgotten will be revived and people will appreciate the different styles all over again.