Arts concert review

A passionate and dedicated performance

The MIT Symphony Orchestra shines at their second concert of the year

MIT Symphony Orchestra Concert
Performed by the MIT Symphony Orchestra
Kresge Auditorium
Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

As people trickled into Kresge Auditorium, I saw a mixture of attendees— a family with a five year old son, an elderly couple who sat next to me and enthusiastically applauded every time, and college students, both musically trained and untrained, who came to support their friends and roommates. The MIT Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Adam K. Boyles, presented classical music in a beautiful way and with great passion. I have been to both of their concerts this year, and they have yet to disappoint.

They started Friday’s concert with the Overture to Cosi fan tutte by Mozart, a light piece that got everyone in the spirit and ready to listen to some of the longer, more involved pieces. Before each piece, the conductor gave the audience an overview of the piece, how the composer’s life influenced the work, and what to listen to and look for. This storytelling, accompanied by the music, enriched my experience and educated me.

The next piece, Puccini’s Crisantemi, was, as promised by the conductor in his speech, a haunting piece about the sadder side of love and was almost my favorite piece of the night, surpassed only by their final piece. In this piece especially, I saw a distinct change in the way MITSO was performing. In the first concert back in September, there were some portions where they didn’t sound cohesive, but in this concert, it was clear the musicians had found their groove and had gotten used to playing with one another. I enjoyed the piece, and the night got better from there.

The next work, Diamond’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet, and the Puccini piece were performed without pause, and I really enjoyed listening for the different parts of the play in the Diamond piece. In his speech, he told us which parts of the play Romeo and Juliet the piece focused on, and the musicians did a terrific job playing in a way that amplified the emotions that the piece evoked in the audience. The Diamond piece was not actually written to accompany the play, but was written about the play itself, and I felt as though each movement had parts where the instruments echoed the different characters in Romeo and Juliet, combining both the play and music all in one.

After a brief intermission, they performed Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Opus 120. As the final piece progressed, I found myself enthralled — sitting up and on the edge of my seat, excited to see what would happen next. It lived up to all expectations. Looking around, I saw that others had the same level of enjoyment on their faces, and after the piece ended, MITSO received a standing ovation, a testament to their dedication and mastery of the piece and their instruments.

So, if you have a Friday night free, consider going to a MITSO concert. The next one is their Holiday Pops concert, on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. It’s free and open to all, so there’s no reason not to go!