Belting a seemingly impossibly high melody that soared throughout the Timken Room, Barbara Kilduff, Adjunct Instructor in Music, sang Johannes Brahms’s “Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52” during last Friday’s Faculty Chamber Music Concert. Following piano accompanists Christopher Walter, former Instructor in Music, and Rebecca Plummer, Adjunct Instructor in Music, tenor Eric Christopher Perry, Adjunct Instructor in Music, joined Kilduff in harmony. Krista River and Donald Wilkinson, Adjunct Instructors in Music, began singing with powerful, resounding notes as the entire group’s melodies united, crescendoing into a dramatic finale.
“The Brahms is just so beautiful. It’s so wonderful and just great chamber music. It’s unusual, too. It has a four-hand piano and four singers and there isn’t a lot of music like that. Brahms does everything you could possibly do with a waltz… Everybody who was taking part, at some point, had experience with the piece, but it had not been for a long time. [We chose to bring this piece back] because it’s just a song that everyone really loves,” said Walter.
“Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52” was one of three pieces performed last Friday at the Faculty Chamber Music Concert. This concert provided faculty with the opportunity to exhibit their talents in groups with both active and retired music teachers on campus.
Accompanied by pianist Walter, Perry performed Benjamin Britten’s “On this Island, Op. 11.” From the very first notes of the piece, both musicians established intense emotions with the wide range of rising and falling melodies. As the piece progressed, the melody transformed from magnificent to remorseful, and Perry’s notes slowed and softened. Then, with a sudden breath, he rapidly transitioned to a spunkier, jazzy tune with shorter notes and a final, loud chord on the piano that playfully closed the piece.
“The set that I sang, ‘On this Island,’ had a lot to do with really profound texts about the pros and cons of nationalism. In a time where we, as a world, are looking at what it means to be a part of our society, how we choose to embrace our own nationalism in a responsible way is a really important thing for all of us to understand… I chose this set as a message conveyed through Britten and the poetry of Auden that we are not islands, we are a community that’s supposed to be able to bind together and embrace a wider humanity,” said Perry.
Another more instrumentally focused group featured Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music, on a piccolo trumpet, Jodi Hagen, Adjunct Instructor in Music and Holly Barnes, Instructor in Music, on the violin, Elizabeth Aureden, Instructor in Music, on the cello, and Abbey Siegfried, Instructor in Music, on the harpsichord, performing “Trumpet Concerto in D Major” by Georg Philipp Telemann. The mournful, slow piece featured steep intervals that were broken up by intermittent quick sections, accentuated by fast trills and shorter bow strokes.
“In a lot of Baroque music, particularly that stuff that goes at a rather quick-ish tempo, all the stuff is very well-written so it works if it is just played well. Whether it uses strings or guitars or ukeleles, it would still be beautiful… The kind of piccolo trumpet [I played on] is used a lot for that kind of repertoire because of the ranges. It’s interesting to play and it’s fun to play,” said Monaco.