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Concert Review: Georgia Musicale Group

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On Sunday, September 15, 2019, at 3:00 pm the Georgia Musicale Group (GMG) performed several pieces at Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall in Morrow, Georgia. Dr. Utako Tanigawa is the founder and President that incorporated the Georgia Musicale Group as a non-profit organization in 2016. The group has rapidly grown to more than one hundred performers including pianists, various instrumentalists, and vocalists. The concert program included selections by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Johannes Brahms, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Mary Leaf, Jules Massenet, Frederic Chopin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonin Dvorak, and Johann Strauss Jr. which were performed by Asa J. Williams on piano; Kimber Kwiatkowski on piano; Abbie Hattauer, mezzo-soprano; Shoko Tanaka on piano; Judy Manganiello on piano; Robin Engleman, mezzo-soprano; Utako Tanigawa on piano; Leanne Manning on clarinet; Nico Brett on piano; Dawn Dalangin Hawk; Pamela Martin and Kristi Helfen on piano four hands. This concert was performed to allow the members to experiment with different tempi, play pieces from memory, practice new pieces and gain experience by participation. As I have always wanted to attend a concert of this nature, it was very gratifying because I have never witnessed this kind of music in person.

The Georgia Musicale Group opened the concert with Prelude, Op 3, No. 2 (1892), one of Rachmaninoff’s most famous compositions in C Sharp Minor. The instruments played during the concert were pianos, a clarinet, and mezzo-sopranos. The types of music were Classical, Modern and Musical Theatre. The performers performed solos, duets, and trios. The music performed at this concert as in Prelude in D major, Op. 23, No. 4 was consonance. Most of the performers were on key and the melodies were great, as were the mezzo-sopranos, magnificent.

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The piece I enjoyed the most was Silent Woods and Troubled Times, From the Bohemian Forest, Op. 68, composed by Antonin Dvorak, that was performed by Pamela Martin and Kristie Helfen on piano four hands. It was enjoyable to me the most because it was performed by two individuals simultaneously. Silent Woods was melodic and Troubled Times had a distinct crescendo and grave, that I found intense. I also enjoyed Rhapsody composed by Mary Leaf and performed by Judy Manganiello on piano, which was dedicated to her late father. This piece touched me in a way that I did not expect as I had recently lost my father as well. It was very expressive and made me, the listener, feel at ease. The piece I did not enjoy was I Dreamed a Dream, Les Miserables, composed by Claude-Michel Schonberg and performed by Abbie Hattauer, mezzo-soprano and Shoko Tanaka, piano. I guess for me, it was Abbie Hattauer’s libretto, not sure if that was supposed to be. It was an off-beat tempo. I would attend another musical concert of a different genre than I’m used to. Even though this was my very first musical concert, I believe it broadens our horizons of different music in the world.

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