Senior Rectials: Jennifer Chew

“It felt like a roller coaster ride,” said pianist Jennifer Chew ’10 after her senior recital this past Sunday. And indeed it was. In her recital, Chew took the audience on a roller coaster ride of a broad range of emotions that characterizes her wide scope of piano repertoire. Having played the piano since the age of six, Chew was noticeably very comfortable and relaxed on stage. The first piece of the afternoon, Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 848” featured rapid broken major chords that Chew played effortlessly. The running right hand seemed to complement the lilting left hand accompaniment in a timeless dialogue between the two. A definite highlight of the first half of the recital was the “Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61” by Frederic Chopin. A lively piece in military style, the “Polonaise-Fantasie” presented a conflict between the freedom of the fantasy and the polonaise’s moving march. The introduction of the piece was dramatic and emotional, yet it featured the stunning simplicity of a right-hand scale. “There’s such a wide range of emotions and life through the music,” said Chew. To the audience members, it was obvious that Chew was in love with the piece. “Her face shined when she played the [Polonaise-Fantasie]” said Hannah Lee ’12. The second half of the program included two pieces by Brahms. “Intermezzo in A major,” the latter of the two, displayed a perfect Brahmsian lyrical melody that soared out of the rolling left hand. The murmurs from the middle register were later replayed by rolls that marked beautiful chords in the right hand. As a grand finale, Chew played “Café Music for Piano Trio” by Paul Schoenfield, with fellow musicians Stephanie Liu ’11, violin, and Maddie Tucker ’11, cello. The contemporary feel of the music differed from that the styles of many previous pieces. A jazzy piece placed in a classical setting, Café Music was definitely another one of the audience’s favorites. The three friends played poignantly and appeared to have fun while they were at it. After performing the brisk, lively first movement, the trio was called back on stage for an encore. This time they played the sentimental second movement, which was like a distant, reminiscent echo of the first. The second movement featured a lyrical and passionate interplay between the cello and violin. According to the trio, rehearsals of “Café Music” were fun-filled and unforgettable. Tucker said, “We had a lot of weird moments.” Fellow musician Liu added, “We bounced in our chairs!” The fun atmosphere these musicians had at the rehearsals exhibits their endless love for music and for performing with each other. After the successful concert, Chew said that she was “really happy and proud [that I was] able to show the audience how much I love music.”