Before Alex Demeulenaere ’13 even had the chance to start the first piece of his Senior Recital, roaring cheers erupted from the crowd.
One of the first and most memorable performances of the evening was Demeulenaere’s rendition of Franz Schubert’s Impromptus in “G Flat Major, Op. 90, No.3.” In a relaxed yet energetic manner, Demeulenaere skillfully executed the lyrical serenade.
This piece was followed by two etudes by Russian composer Aleksandr Scriabin, “Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 2, No. 1” and “Etude in B flat minor, Op. 8, No.11.” Demeulenaere’s soulful performance showcased his ability to contrast deep, poignant undertones with rich harmonies and difficult key changes.
“Alex’s performance was absolutely superb, it was remarkable to support him as a friend. His ability to really get into his performances was truly impressive,” said Lucia McGloin ’13.
Other than performing pieces by renowned composers, Demeulenaere also played his own original composition, giving his Senior Recital a creative and personal edge.
The first of his original pieces was titled “Moment Musical,” which he composed during his Upper year with the help of Derek Jacoby, Instructor in Music. The slow and lilting melody was filled with unexpected modulations.
Demeulenaere’s next piece original piece was “Marlin,” a piano number that featured a vocal component sang by Rebecca Cheng ’14.
“It was very exciting to be able to sing an original composition, especially with such a close deadline. I am incredibly grateful that he asked me in the first place. Putting ‘Marlin’ in his senior recital program added a lot to his performance,” said Cheng in an e-mail to The Phillipian.
“I thought [my performance] was good and that the concert went really well as a whole. I played every piece as I wanted to,” said Demeulenaere.
Demeulenaere finished his Senior Recital with Sergei Rachmaninoff’s powerful composition, “Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 3, No.2.” The piece showcased Demeulenaere’s high technical facility.
The first few measures started with eerie notes that brought on a melancholic and anticipatory feeling.
“That Rachmaninoff was terrific; it was the best he has ever played it,” said Stephen Porter, Adjunct Instructor in Music and Demeulenaere’s piano teacher. “It’s been great. He’s worked hard, he’s gotten better and better. To do seven or eight pieces is a much bigger endeavor; I’m extremely happy [with his performance].”
The piece faded out from its imposing climax by drifting into the melody first heard at the beginning, leaving a slight pause after the last note before the audience erupted into applause.
“Alex’s performance was very moving to me as his father, and I know it was his mother too. We both saw 18 years of life unfold, as if the music was the expression of it all,” wrote Gilles Demeleunaere, Alex’s father, in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “We were also impressed by the numerous friends who were able to attend the concert on a Sunday afternoon. Hopefully these great relationships endure beyond Andover.”