Friday, 12 October 2012

Mendelssohn and The Fratellis

As a music major I love to check out the music scene wherever I travel and Oxford is outstanding for classical music! If I had enough money and time I would attend a different recital/concert/performance every other night. While the tickets aren't expensive for the quality of performances, it is a little pricey for the standard poor collegiate American (the dollar doesn't go far here).
I was very lucky when purchasing tickets to my first concert in Oxford. I called the Oxford Orchestra to reserve tickets and the director of the orchestra wound up answering the phone. After hearing my voice (No matter what I say people initially hear "I'm American") she offered me discount tickets to the performance. I gladly accepted.
 Exeter Chapel

The performance was in the chapel of Exeter College of Oxford University. Each college has outrageous chapels with extreme ornamentation and beautiful craftsmanship. This chapel was less gaudy than others that I'd seen, and the acoustics were wonderful! The performance included:

1. Mendelsohn's Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op. 49. This piece has infectious melodies and a very beautifully swelling (almost bipolar) 4th movement.
2. Haydn's Piano Trio in G Major, Hob xv/25. This work is the more like the typical 'classical music' but has some outrageously difficult sounding piano passages.
3. Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Summer & Spring). Just listen:

Inside the Chapel.
I honestly think that the Oxford colleges felt the need to build the most ostentatious house of worship simply to outdo each other.  
J.R.R. Tolkien went to Exeter and his head is in the Chapel!

Another night this week my roomate Sarah and I went and saw The Fratellis, a Scottish rock band, at a local night club. The show was really good and it was fun to see drunk, rowdy, rock-loving Brits! I even had a go in the small mosh pit that was bubbling up towards the front of the stage.
 The Fratellis

Me & Sara at the show!

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