The Sounds of Students

An intimate group of parents, teachers, students, and musicians gathered together on Wednesday afternoon for an impressive showing of musical talent. The student recital, which took place in the Timken Room of Graves Hall, included pieces of all genres and styles, with a diverse assortment of instrumentation. Unflustered with his role of opening the program, William Walter ’03 relaxed semblance matched the calm, delicate nature of Bach’s “Intermezzo in A major, Op. 18, No. 2,” which he played on piano. Katherine Dix ’05 impressed the audience with her skillful performance of Bela Bartok’s “Romanian Dances Nos. 1, 4, 5, and 6” on violin, complete with a tricky, finger-plucking interlude. Pianist Alex Colaianni ’03 switched gears to a mellower, dreamlike rendition of the Modere movement of “Sonatine,” by Maurice Ravel. Gently swaying and leaning into the keys, she played with remarkable feeling and delicacy. Sylvia Zhu ’03 kept the piano keys dancing with her melodic performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Venetian Gondellied, Op. 30 No. 6,” ornamenting the piece with vibrant trills. Next to take the stage was soprano vocalist, Lauren Blas ’05. She beautifully sang “Ich folge dir,” an aria from The St. John Passion. Blas, who seemed slightly nervous at the beginning of the piece, gained great confidence with every note she sang, leading to a particularly strong, poignant ending. On viola, Dennis Corkery ’03 showed dexterity, performing two movements from Benedetto Marcello’s “Viola Sonata.” The lively second movement, Allegro, was the most impressive of the two, allowing Corkery a chance to show off his finger-flying skill and accuracy in several complicated passages. Mozart’s “Piano Quartet in G minor,” featuring Emily Ma ’04 on violin, Saidi Chen ’04 on viola, Christian Chun ’05 on piano, and Music Department Chair Elizabeth Aureden on cello, was a crowd-pleaser. The talented women, whose unbroken smiles seemed to reflect their own enjoyment of the performance, filled the room with harmonious sound. Though the piece was long and the group’s cohesiveness diminished at a few points, the talented players kept the audience engaged with interconnected melodies and noteworthy solos. Not to be outdone, Alex Limpaecher ’04 on viola, along with Nathan Pirakitikulr ’05 on cello and Instructor in Music Christopher Walter on piano, were featured in an outstanding performance of Mozart’s “Trio in B flat, K. 502.” Limpaecher played especially well, leading the group through the stately tune. Pirakitikuir supported the group admirably on cello. The audience’s gaze shifted from the stage to the corner of the room to hear Winnie Liu’s ’03 fast and lively performance of “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” by Brahms on the xylophone. Reaching up and down the seven foot percussion instrument, Liu remained focused, capturing the Classical style of the piece with a rich, exotic flair. Changing the flavor of the program, Nate Greenberg ’05 performed a spirited, jazzy rendition of Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” on piano. The audience tapped their feet as Greenberg played the rhythmic swing with energy and precision. Next, Julia Bacon ’04 lit up the stage, singing Lionel Bart’s “Where is Love?” from the musical, Oliver. Bacon’s gentle and smooth soprano voice perfectly fit the piece. While trees outside of Graves swayed in the chilling wind, David Desruisseau ’03 evoked recollections of warmth and sunshine in his performance of Spring from Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major,” on violin. Christina Hung ’05 continued the musical quality, performing the Allegro movement from Franz Anton Hoffmeister’s “Viola Concerto” with virtuosity. The fast, moving lines of the concerto were superbly carried out. Also performing a concerto, violinist Christian Hung’s bow didn’t stop moving as she entertained the audience with the playful and bright Allegro molto e con brio movement from Dimitri Kabalevsky’s “Violin Concerto.” Next, Alexander Chin ’05 brought out the contemplative, relaxing side of Claude Debussy in his delicate, yet powerful piano performance of Sarabande, from “Suite Pour le Piano.” On violin, Amy Tsao’s ’05 “Symphonie Espagnol” by Edouard Lalo was dynamic, lively, and bright. She played with excellent tone and technical ability. With stirring feline emotion, soprano vocalist Margaret Reich ’06 sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory” from the Broadway hit musical, Cats. Her vocal talent and strong stage presence made her performance top-notch. Joan Huang’s ’03 moving performance of Camille Saint-Saens’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” on violin was not only beautiful, but also technically challenging. Her carefully-sculpted phrasing and dynamic changes added to the depth of the piece. Closing the afternoon’s program with a bang, Luis Ortiz ’05 performed the Maestoso movement from Frederic Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor.” Ortiz wowed the audience with his obvious technical skill and emotional playing ability that heightened the dramatic piece. Said Nate Greenberg, “Most of the time studying a musical instrument is a very personal, individual experience. This was a special opportunity for me to be able to share what I’ve learned, and to be further inspired by my musically-gifted peers.”