After the audience’s cheering and prompting, Angela Tang ’16 launched into an encore. Deciding to play “Caprice Viennois” by Fritz Kreisler, Tang played smooth, light notes, creating an enchanting mel- ody.
This piece was part of Tang’s Senior Recital last Saturday in the Timken Room of Graves Hall. Tang was accompanied by Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, on the piano, and performed three pieces in addition to the encore.
Tang opened the concert with the first movement of “Violin So- nata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a” by Sergei Prokofiev. The piece opened with a smooth, drawn-out violin melody that gradually became fast- er and more sporadic in rhythm. After a short pause, which allowed the piano chords to ring out, the violin melody became smoother once again, before ending on a sin- gle elongated note.
“In practicing, my favorite piece is the Prokofiev, because it sort of comes naturally. It’s not like the best crowd-pleaser though, that would be the Bernstein [piece] be- cause it’s really difficult, but if you get it right it sounds really good,” said Tang.
Next, Tang played the first movement of Leonard Bernstein’s “Serenade, after Plato: Sympo- sium.” The piece featured a lone eerie violin melody that consisted of long, high-pitched notes. As the movement progressed, the piece increased in volume and intensi- ty, as Tang added choppy, plucked notes to the melody. The piece ended with a final, short note. Ac- cording to Tang, this piece was the most challenging to perform in the repertoire.
“I have to do a lot of stuff very high up on the E string, and high up on the A string, a lot of fingered
octaves, which is a very difficult technique. Also, a lot of double stops, [or playing two notes to- gether on the violin], [and] it’s not easy because you have to get both of them in tune at the same time,” saidTang.
Tang was first introduced to group violin lessons when she was seven-years old. Although the classes were originally for fun, vi- olin quickly became a strong pas- sion for Tang that has taught her importantlifeskills.
“[I feel like I’ve learned about] practicing taking things slowly,” said Tang. “A lot of people try to play things through to get things on the first try or something like that and I’ve learned that that’s not really effective. So what I do is I slow everything down, I take out the metronome, do things at like half tempo or quarter tempo, and just really get it right. I think the moral of that [is: if ] you can’t play things right slowly, you can’t play things right at all. It’s about estab- lishing good habits. If you’re play- ing things through quickly, and you’re not going back at all, you learn things the wrong way.”
On campus, Tang has a very strong appreciation for the music faculty, especially James Orent, the Conductor for the Symphony Or- chestra and Chamber Ensemble, and her teacher, Michael Rosen- bloom, Adjunct Instructor in Mu-
sic.“When people are learning the pieces, their teachers say ‘oh, play this a little more sharp or flat, or try this with this kind of bowing or articulation,’ and that to me is more like ‘we’re fixing this one spot or piece,’ but [Mr. Rosenbloom] tells me, ‘you need to think about it in this way,’ ‘think about, when you’re playing, play with this kind of character.’… So he’ll make me real- ly think during my lessons, and in that way he’s taught me a lot about the violin,” said Tang.