Senior Recital: Minyoung Kwon ’11

Minyoung Kwon ’11 shared her musical talents with the Andover community one last time in a Senior Recital filled with favorite and sentimental pieces.

The harmonious first chords and slow tempo of Bach’s “Sonata No. 6 in C Major” provided a comfortable beginning to the recital.

Kwon’s second solo was Felix Godefroid’s “Romance sans Parole,” which means “romance without words.”

“I grew up hearing this piece. My mom is also a harpist and she would play this piece at my house all the time,” she said. It was a fairly simple piece but the repetitive base notes created a full sound.

Next Kwon performed “Sarabande e Toccata” by Nino Rota. The first movement of the piece, “Sarabande,” began slowly and quietly with descending chords, but got faster with more complex rhythms. The second movement, “Toccata,” was fast throughout the whole section with a wider range of base notes supporting the upbeat melody.

Three ensemble pieces added variety the show. For the first ensemble piece, “Allegro from Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major, K.299” by W. A. Mozart, Ayaka Shinozaki’13 played the flute and Christopher Walter, instructor in music, played the piano. In this piece, the flute and harp alternated. In some measures they created counterpoint with just each other and moved harmonically.

Chisato Suga, a student from Walnut Hill School, played the viola and a guest performer, Sarah Seranka, played the flute for the next piece, “Sonate en trio, for Flute, Viola, and Hap, Op.78” by C. Debussy.

The Sonata opened with a freely constructed movement called Pastorale. The performers ended the Sonata with the last movement, Final. This movement began with fast repeating and accompanying passages of the harp and the flute. The viola layered on top of the harp tunes created a relaxed atmosphere but also charged the piece with a sense of repressed passion.

Kwon formed her program only with the pieces that she absolutely loved making it tough for her to choose a favorite. “Sonate en trio, for Flute, Viola, and Hap, Op.78” was, however, Kwon’s favorite considering “how much work and practice [she] had put in.” She practiced this piece with a different flutist, her friend from NEC predatory school, yet the flutist injured her hand two weeks before Kwon’s recital.

Kwon was nervous that she had not had enough time to rehearse with the new flutist. “I almost gave up on this piece for my recital. I was so happy when we successfully performed this piece on stage,” said Kwon.

The last piece of the recital, “Toccata (Sabre Dance)” by S. MacDonald, was the first piece that Kwon learned to play on the harp. “It is a very short and showy piece with all the glissandos,” Kwon described. The glissandos with wide ranges closed the recital with a grand and awe-inspiring ending.

“I don’t know harp music very well but I could tell that it was very virtuoso and beautifully played. I really enjoyed the last piece,” said Jack You’10.

Kwon started playing the harp in 5th grade and went to France during her upper year to attend Ecole Normale de Paris de Musique. “I improved so much while I was in France. I improved more than all my other years of harp combined,” she said. This year, she participated in the New England Conservatory Saturday preparatory and the NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kwon has not decided whether she will play harp professionally, but she said, “Whenever I play the harp, that is the most fun part of my week.”

Audience members left Kwon’s recital impressed. “She had so many pieces that were really challenging. No one would’ve guessed that she didn’t have enough to practice. She was so confident on stage,” said Angela Kim’ 12.