Senior Recital: Jasmine Edison ’11 and Jenny Zhou ’11

With pieces ranging from Mozart to Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Senior Recital by Jenny Zhou ’11 and Jasmine Edison ’11 took many members of the Phillips Academy community through an exciting time travel of music last Sunday in the Timken Room.

While Zhou featured her virtuosic piano playing, Edison exhibited the wide range of her soprano voice.

Zhou began the recital with Maurice Ravel’s “Sonatine,” an impressionistic yet technical piece that from the very start invaded the atmosphere with a piercing, beautiful melody.

The “Sonatine” was divided into three parts, Modere, Mouvement de menuet and Anime. The rich harmonies of the Modere seemed to create a picture of a person looking out into the calm, peaceful ocean.

In contrast, the Mouvement de menuet demonstrated a more lilting, adorable melody that floated in the air. The tranquility produced by the second movement was then suddenly broken by the Anime, a section that kept the audience’s hearts pounding through its fast, lively passages.

Zhou’s powerful playing kept the audience entranced throughout her piece.After the dramatic ending of the “Sonatine,” Edison promptly took the stage.

Her first song was Scarlatti’s “Gia il Sole dal Gange.” The Scarlatti piece’s austerity, clarity and simple harmonies contributed to a fresh start after the rich, chocolaty harmonies of Ravel.

One of the audience favorites was Schuber’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” which means Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel. The piece narrated the love story of a German seamstress.

Shirley Guo ’11 said, “The hypnotic effect of the constant piano playing was one of my favorite parts of the recital. I really felt caught by the music.”

Claude Debussy’s “Pour Le Piano – Prelude,” played by Zhou, was next on the program. Debussy, with its wild glissandos and funky rhythm instantly became an audience favorite.

Zhou said, “I really liked playing Debussy because it is very unique. I thought it sounded very nice in the Timken Room and I have been playing it since Lower year so it was really nice to share the hard work with my peers, friends and faculty members.”

Kevin Qian ’11 said, “The Debussy was very cool because it had so many elements in it that were unusual. I am also going to play a Senior Recital in this term and it is really inspiring to hear something like Debussy before you have your own concert.”

While the Debussy ended Zhou’s part in the program, Edison continued with her favorite piece, “Summertime from Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin.

This famous piece was well received by the audience members.

“I heard it a lot growing up. My mom used to sing it and she really liked it so I guess it is a family thing. It is really nice to finally do it in front of people as well,” said Edison.

The performance ended with John du Prez and Eric Idle’s “Song that Goes Like This” from Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” in which Edison shared her piece with Pat Brady ’11.

Edison and Brady’s exhilarating singing brought out laughter from the audience.

Edison said, “I really enjoyed collaborating. [‘Song that Goes Like This’] was really fun because Pat Brady and I just went nuts. We exaggerated everything and it was great.”

Edison and Zhou also noted that they chose to order their pieces chronologically so that the audiences could get the broad and diverse range of music throughout the many different eras.

When asked about the joint recital with Zhou, Edison said, “I liked sharing the recital because it took a lot of pressure off to share it with Jenny. It was good to ‘pass the baton’ every few songs or so.”

Zhou said, “I am really happy that I got to do a senior recital. It was the culmination of my musical career at Andover and it practically was three years of my work that I played here at Andover. It was really nice to see my accomplishments all come out in the last recital here.”