Senior Recitals: McKee

It is funny how McKee Floyd ’04 became acquainted with the oboe. While studying piano at Interlochen’s junior summer program, she attended a concert which featured Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” a beautiful piece with a thrilling oboe line. Floyd immediately discontinued her study of piano and has since concentrated solely on learning and perfecting her technique on the oboe. Floyd illustrated her talent for the oboe in her Senior recital last Wednesday. She began with “Pan” from Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid. The piece, which is based on Ovid’s myth of Pan, the forest nymph, was an extraordinary musical work. It had a real chasing sound with its quick, light, up-and-down motion and rests of irregular lengths. Poulenc’s “Élégie” from his Sonata for Oboe and Piano provided an interesting contrast to “Pan.” This piece was especially interesting because the oboe sounded almost like a saxophone as Floyd really played upon Poulenc’s enticing melodic motion and recurring themes, which were played almost as licks. Following “Élégie” were two very similar pieces—“The Winter’s Passed” by Wayne Barlow and “Munter” from Paul Hindemith’s Sonata. Both of these pieces, written for oboe and piano, featured an interesting dynamic between the two instruments; the piano continually drifted in and out of accompaniment and duet with Floyd’s oboe. Floyd finished her concert with the “Allegro” movement from Carl Nielsen’s Quintet for Wind Instruments. Featuring Julie Min ’05 (clarinet,) Edward Kang ’07 (flute,) and Instructors of Music Robin Milinazzo (horn) and Neil Fairbairn (bassoon,) the stage was filled with winds. The piece, which was written for the Copenhagen Wind Quintet in the 1920s, was very engaging. It featured lots of quickly repeated notes and parallel motion between all of the instruments, creating a very cohesive and rich sound. The short program was a testament to Floyd’s six years of work on the oboe. She will attend the University of St. Andrews next year, where she hopes to participate in chamber music and, perhaps, play “Swan Lake,” the piece that started it all. -Andy St. Louis