This week I decided to attend a recital put on by the School of Music & Dance at Knuth Hall at San Francisco State University. Zakarias Grafilo, the Alexander String Quartet’s first violinist and lecturer at SFSU, conducted the recital performed by the SFSU Orchestra.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of classical music. I grew up listening to my grandfather play classical music quite loudly, as he suffers from hearing loss from intentionally not wearing the proper safety gear while working at the San Francisco International Airport. While playing the music loudly, he would sing along by mimicking the sound of the instruments. Not exactly something a teenager wants to listen to while doing homework. However, I appreciate the talent and complexity of classical music, which is the reason I decided to attend the recital. Sure enough, it did not disappoint.
I arrived early to the performance and was able to catch the orchestra practicing and fine tuning their instruments in preparation. This period of time was nothing compared to their performance, as it was almost entirely a clash of instruments playing out of tune and rhythm with each other. Essentially, it was just noise.
“So far, I hate this piece of music,” I heard a woman behind me say, followed by another individual who replied that the recital hadn’t actually started yet.
By this point, the lights had dimmed and Grafilo took the stand to the sound of the orchestra members stomping their feet and the audience members clapping their hands.
The orchestra performed three different pieces: “Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65” by Carl Maria von Weber; “Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92” by Ludwig van Beethoven; and “Scheherazade, Op. 35” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
All pieces performed were entertaining and performed well, showcasing the talent of the orchestra. My favorite piece performed at the recital was “Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92.” I find it to be such a beautiful piece and it was performed beautifully. One of my favorite things about this piece is how it starts out soft and gradually intensifies and becomes much more powerful and louder. The orchestra was able to perform this so well. No out-of-sync instruments ruined the flow of the music and no moment disrupted the 50-minute performance.
I think this recital and this experience was an example of the sheer talent of the SFSU community. I’m excited to see more of it and I plan to visit a few of the different art exhibits and performances happening during the rest of the Spring semester. For those interested, the School of Music and Dance has a list of events located here that you can attend.