Senior Recital: Sunny He ’12 and Jackie Wu ’12

Lilting violin melodies from Mozart to Sarasate reverberated throughout the Timken Room in Graves Hall last Saturday during the Senior Recital featuring the virtuosic musical skills of Sunny He ’12 and Jackie Wu ’12 on violins.

Wu performed the first piece in the recital, “Allegro” of Samuel Osborne Barber’s “Violin Concerto, Op.124.” The initial soft tones and soulful vibrato progressed into a passionately accelerando melody. Wu skillfully executed tremolos, accompanied by a flurry of piano notes.

He then took to the stage to play two movements of Mozart’s “Sonata in E Minor K304.” In her first selection of “Allegro”, He demonstrated versatility with alternating melodic and technical phrases. Her skillful playing featured a succession of striking notes.

Once “Allegro” came to an end, He deftly transitioned to the second movement, “Tempo di Menuetto.” The piano’s sweet prelude accentuated He’s emotional performance, rich with dynamics and vibrato.

After a brief intermission, Wu played her next piece, “Zigeunerweisen” by Sarasate. Wu’s deft handling of the violin enabled her to exhibit the quick pizzicato notes. The final passages were playful, with high notes coupled with tenuto.

Of the piece, Wu said, “It’s my favorite, but harder so I worked more on it… time really caught up to me, but I think it was all worth the effort in the end.”

“The Sarasate was my favorite. I liked it because you need serious hand dexterity to play it. … You could tell that Jackie was very immersed into the song; she enjoyed it very much,” said Stephanie Hendarta ’14.

“Zigeunerweisen” marked the end of Wu’s solo performance in the concert and the audience gave an enthusiastic applause.

The next selection added diversity to the recital’s repertoire and reflected He’s cultural background.

Gentle trills from the piano, reminiscent of the Chinese instrument guqin, began “The Butterfly Lovers Concerto,” a classic Chinese piece. He’s delicate playing culminated in sudden joyous climax, as if butterflies had truly appeared before the stage. The piece then concluded with the bittersweet, mellow tones of the beginning of the piece.

“I’ve been dabbling in ‘Butterfly Lovers,’ my favorite piece, for two years, the latter of which I started taking it more seriously,” said He.

For the final selection of the evening, both He and Wu rose to perform a violin duet: two movements of Leclair’s “Sonata for Two Violins in E minor, Op. 3, No. 5.” The “Allegro ma poco” and “Andante grazioso” highlighted an intricate weave of complex phrases from both He and Wu, melding together in a fanciful melodic reel.

As He and Wu bowed after their recital, the audience gave them a standing ovation and expressed their appreciation of the recital.

“They played beautifully—it takes a huge amount of work to put together a Senior recital, and they did a great job of it. Good selection, technically challenging, they played them in very virtuosic manner,” said Marga Kempner ’12.

“I loved collaborating with Jackie. There is a true sense of camaraderie, and it was quite refreshing to be able to alternate performances with another player,” said He.