A cascade of brisk arpeggios punctuated by soaring notes rang throughout the Timken Room as Ariel Wang ’21 played “Three Concert Etudes No. 3” by Franz Liszt on the piano. The piece culminated with a progression of somber chords before sending the audience into a round of applause.
“I heard someone else play [this piece] at a competition, and I was like, ‘Wow, that piece is gorgeous, that’s totally something that I would like to play.’ It was just really beautiful the way she played it, so that’s why I chose it… The last little bit after the second cadenza: it’s the same melody as before, except the accompaniment and everything makes it a lot bigger and a lot louder. It’s even more happy. It’s big and grand,” said Wang.
Wang was among 14 students who performed in a Student Recital held in Timken Room last Saturday. As part of Family Weekend, the recital showcased student performances on a variety of instruments, such as the piano, violin, and harp.
“I don’t think I would have put as much work into it if my parents weren’t there. It was also more special because you can perform to your peers anytime at this boarding school, but you only have a few chances to perform to your family,” said Wang.
Sofia Poncel ’21 played Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Elegie in E-flat minor, Op. 3, No. 1” on the piano. The piece started off with slow arpeggios in the left hand, producing a solemn tone, then transitioned to a set of powerful and melodic chords. After a sequence of falling notes increasing in speed, the song slowed down before ending on one elongated note.
“Actually, I’ve performed [this piece] before this performance. I really like it, and I thought it was very dramatic. I wanted to make an impact on my first performance here, so I chose this,” said Poncel. “[My favorite part was] getting to share my final piece of work from all of my practice to other people.”
Another piece performed by Wang ’21 on the piano was titled “Etude No. 5 in G-flat Major, Op. 10 (Black Key Etude)” by Frédéric Chopin. The piece began with rapid notes in the right hand, accompanied by rhythmic chords in the left. A series of crescendoing broken chords cascaded down, before three reverberating chords concluded the piece.
“I thought that [this piece] was a very different tone, especially [since] the order of the performance was more softer, and [this song] was very loud and it [made] me awake all of a sudden, so it was good… [Overall,] I thought that [the performances] were very good, and I could tell that [the performers] put a lot of work into [their pieces],” said audience member Ava Long ’21.
Zora Stewart ’19 played “Alla Caccia” by Alan Abbott on the horn, beginning with a series of three short notes followed by a long note that was repeated throughout the piece. The swift tempo of the song transitioned into a slower section featuring a grand theme. Towards the end, the piece returned to its original upbeat tone.
“To hear so many talented and skilled musicians perform is just a real treat. Of course, we probably came to hear our own kids, but it’s just really astounding [to see] the abilities and talents on display by the students,” said Alexander Stewart P’19, who was a member of the audience.