With quick strokes of the bow, the cellists of the Amadeus Chamber Ensemble suddenly began playing a low and strong rhythm, creating an intense mood. As violins and violas joined in, the song turned into a more heroic melody. This piece, called “Perseus” by Soon Hee Newbold, was inspired by the Greek story of the hero, Perseus, and his journey to slay the Gorgon, Medusa. The change in mood and melody wove together Perseus’s story and victory.
“Perseus was my favorite piece to play because I love how fast paced it is. We have to shift into fifth position [the string position used to play high notes on the violin] at one point while doing sixteenth notes, which is pretty hard, but [as a whole] it went really well and our orchestra played cohesively,” said Anna Faliero ’18, a violin player in the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra.
This piece was performed during the Academy Orchestras Concert held in the Cochran Chapel this past Sunday. The concert also included performances by two of the Senior Concerto winners, Diana Ding ’16 and John Lim ’16.
The Academy Chamber Orchestra performed “Fantaisie Brillante sur des airs de Carmen,” by Francois Borne, featuring Ding on the flute. The orchestra began the piece dramatically with a series of sharp, quick notes while Ding provided a more even melody. The piece included a contrasting steady rhythm played by the timpani or the strings and a fast, upbeat tune performed by the flute.
Ding said, “Being a soloist, you’re supposed to lead the orchestra, which was a new experience for me. It’s really different than being in the orchestra, because if you’re in the orchestra, you’re supposed to listen to [James Orent, Instructor in Music]. If you’re a soloist, you’re supposed to tell him what to do.”
The concert also included the Academy Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of the third movement of Jean Sibelius’s “Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47.” Lim performed a violin solo in the piece. Beginning with a fast yet quiet rhythm played on the timpani, the piece had an ominous tone. Lim’s fast solo added to the intensity and urgency of the piece. Throughout the composition, the orchestra and the soloist alternated playing the melody, creating a sense of dialogue.
Lim said, “I chose the piece because I always wanted to challenge myself by playing this notoriously difficult piece. At first, it was daunting to learn the piece, but learning it was such a rewarding and helpful experience for me as a musician. Also, I knew that the orchestra’s accompaniment part is reasonable but challenging at parts, and I wanted to make sure that the orchestra would enjoy playing their part.”