Senior Recital: Ayaka Shinozaki ’13 and Catherine Choi ’13

A cozy crowd shuffled eagerly into the Timken Room in anticipation of the joint Senior Recital of flutist Ayaka Shinozaki ’13 and violinist Catherine Choi ’13 this past Sunday.

Shinozaki was accompanied by pianist Abbey Siegfried, Instructor in Music. Her rendition of J.S. Bach’s “Sonata in E Major for Flute: Adagio ma non tanto” was characterized by her interpretation of the subtle, smooth dips between modulating notes and unusual musical accidentals.

“[For Sonata in E Major] I would have liked to play around with the tempo and take risks, stretching and shortening phrases to have a dynamic effect,” wrote Shinozaki an e-mail to The Phillipian. “Most importantly, I was able to perform for those who came to the concert, including people I love, and I had a great time! It was a great way to end my Andover flute career.”

Taking a break from a mostly melancholic repertoire, Shinozaki played Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s orchestral arrangement “Andante in C Major.” High, energetic notes dominated the second movement. Shinozaki and Siegfried’s collaboration merged into an intricate and sweet-sounding performance that depicted the lively atmosphere of spring. “Andante in C Major” was Shinozaki’s favorite piece because of her love of the season.

Shinozaki closed her performance with classic flute piece “Syrinx” by Claude Debussy. “Syrinx” began with with long, eerie notes that left a melodic lingering sound.

When asked about what message she wanted to convey through her rendition of the piece, Shinozaki said, “My hometown in Japan has a huge forest [that] gets very mysterious at night, and that mysteriousness was what I was hoping to convey.”

“[‘Syrinx’] was the highlight of [Shinozaki’s] performance because her musical control was extraordinary. I am impressed by how [Shinozaki] easily communicates her musical ideas,” said Siegfried.

After a few introductory words from her accompanist Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, Choi took the stage with “Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24: Allegro” by German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. The piece began with a repetition of light, delicate notes and rapid crescendos, but it became intentionally loud and tumultuous toward the end. The intense chaos was finally broken by a long low note at the finish.

“Spring Sonata was a fun piece to play with a great balance between the violin part and the piano part,” wrote Choi in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “My favorite part of the piece that I played is actually the second movement because it’s just so beautifully melodic and expressive, and the melody is nicely woven through both the piano and violin parts.”

For the second piece in her repertoire, Choi performed Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 5, Op. 24: Adagio Molto Espresso,” better known as the “Spring Sonata,” in a dreamy and wallowing manner.

“I liked the Beethoven [piece] a lot because the first movement is a nice, happy piece. And I played that movement in my recital as well, so it was kind of like a flashback,” said Christine Choi ’09, Catherine’s sister.

Her final piece, “Romance in F Minor, Op. 11” by Anton Dvorak, was played just as it is titled: romantically. Long slow notes accompanied by sweet high notes brought energy to the room as Choi finished her final piece.

“This is my last Andover performance as a soloist, so it’s a little sad. But I think it’s a good end to my Andover music career,” said Choi.