Saturday, August 24, 2019

Department of Music presents: Chamber Ensembles Recital



On Nov. 1, Trinity College’s Department of Music presented the Chamber Ensembles Recital during common hour in the Goodwin Theater of the Austin Arts Center. The recital featured 11 Trinity students, from freshmen to seniors, who exhibited exceptional expertise with various instruments such as the piano, flute, violin, and cello.

The stormy weather of Hurricane Sandy not only caused the cancellation of classes on Monday and Tuesday, but also prevented the performers from practicing their pieces during class and rehearsing with each other onstage. Although the students may not have felt thoroughly prepared and confident without the proper practice, the extensive support and encouragement from their mentors and peers helped them to achieve an outstandingly flawless recital. The performance attested to their splendid musical skill. At the beginning of the recital, the students were only given more encouragement by Nancy Curran, coordinator of the Instrument Ensembles, who enthusiastically declared, “The show must go on!”

The recital opened with the Trio Sonata in D Minor, a composition by Theodor Schwartzkopff who was a 17th century German composer. Featuring Courtney Roach ’16 and Tara Kantor ’16 on flute, Elliott Barron ’15 on cello, and accompanied by Instrument Ensembles Coordinator Nancy Curran on harpsichord, the quartet flowed through the composition’s four different sections, from the lively Vivace introduction, to the slow Andante melody, followed by the staccato Aria I harmony, and concluding with the intricate Aria II finale. Taking the lead in the quick, melodious composition, flutists Roach and Kantor executed a complex sequence of synchronization and Curran displayed the slow notes of the harpsichord, giving the piece a medieval-esque nature.

The Trio no. 1 in G Major, composed by Franz Joseph Haydn, featured Jaroslaw Lis on violin, Davis Kim ’15 on piano, and Wes Klimas ’13 on cello. The male trio created an expertly complicated harmony that interwove both slow and rapid musical sequences. The measured Andante, energetic Poco Allegro, serene Rondo all-Ongarese, and rapid-fire Presto movements all portrayed an intense level of virtuoso skill. From the trilling melancholy of the violin to the light piano ensemble, the composition’s pace included both speedy intensity and lilting calmness.

The recital then presented Friedrich Weber’s Trio “Facile,” op. 15 with Yisheng Cai ’16 on violin, So Young Kim ’14 on piano, and Kathy Schiano on cello. Guided along by Cai on the violin, the slower Larghetto movement contained a gradual crescendo into a faster paced passage embellished with cello solos that added bars of deeper tenors.

Taking a break from the centuries-old classical compositions, the recital also included Kyeong-Wook Seol’s modern piece “Called to Love,” starring the previous performers Cai, Kim, and Schiano on violin, piano, and cello. With the high, trilling notes of the violin and the deep, melodious notes of the cello, the ensemble contained both aspects of contemporary music and embellishments of classical music.

Following Seol’s modern piece was Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, including only the fluid Andante movement, which was played by Sha Li ’16 on piano and accompanied by Schiano on cello. Beginning with a long, yet complex opening, the composition presented a synchronization of aggravated piano and cello embellishments that made both instruments equal throughout the ensemble.

In the end, the recital closed with Claude Debussy’s composition of the Sonata for Cello and Piano, which featured only the Prologue movement with Kim on piano and Schiano on cello. A French composer from the 20th century, Debussy’s compositions are products of the avant-garde era, and contain the spontaneity and whim of modernism. In this innovative Sonata, Kim and Schiano rendered this impulsive nature, ending the recital with the unique timing and free harmonies of Debussy’s own creation.

The recital covered every major period in the history of classical music, from the early medieval-like composition of Schwartzkopff to the contemporary tune of Seol, the performers of the Instrumental Ensembles displayed a diverse assortment of compositions. Although the audience was smaller than normal due to the midday scheduling and the post-Sandy timing, the recital was presented in a professional manner, such that performers and audience-members alike could reach a true appreciation of the recital’s classical music.

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