In a passionate end to his successful cello career at Andover, Sasha Scolnik-Brower ’13 performed his Senior Recital in the Timken Room of Graves Hall last Saturday night.
Scolnik-Brower immediately hit his stride, launching into the first movement of Beethoven’s “A Major Cello Sonata.” His interpretation of Beethoven featured a powerful, moving theme which contrasted the delicate sound of the piano.
Before moving on to “Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85,” composed by Edward Elgar, Scolnik-Brower gave the audience a brief introduction, explaining the historical context in which the piece was composed. The staccato melody brought to mind the devastation that Elgar noticed after World War I, when the piece was written.
“I liked [the Elgar piece] the most because it had a lot of different dynamics and [Scolnik-Brower] presented them all fully to the audience,” said Joyce Wang ’15.
Last November, Scolnik-Brower performed the song by Elgar with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Scolnik-Brower said, “[Playing the Elgar in the Timken Room] is a lot different. The sound does go out as far, but in some ways it’s easier because I’m just communicating with one person rather than a hundred. It obviously isn’t ideal because the piece was originally written for cello and the orchestra and it has more power with the orchestra, but this is a fun way to share it with everybody.”
Scolnik-Brower invited his mother, Julie Scolnik-Brower, on stage to play “Assobio a Játo,” a piece by Heitor Villa-Lobos for the cello and flute. The mother and son alternated between cheerful and melancholic melodies in the sensitive dialogue.
Sasha Scolnik-Brower said, “Since we had played it before, we didn’t have to do much rehearsal. There is still some tricky stuff we had to do, but overall a lot of it had been already put together.”
After an intermission, Scolnik-Brower turned to Baroque music as he performed the Prelude to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Third Cello Suite.” Even without an accompanist, he successfully brought out the bass and the soprano to produce a well-rounded and clean sound that exemplified the music of the Baroque era.
The night reached its finale when Scolnik-Brower performed Brahms’ complete “F Major Cello Sonata.” He used a wide vibrato and heavy bow strokes to bring out the romantic melody in both fast-paced allegro and slow adagio.
Skanda Koppula ’13 said, “I loved the way he emphasized the low sound of the cello by digging into his strings and making such a deep sound.”
After the recital, Scolnik-Brower received a large applause and, joined by many friends and family, held a reception at his home in Andover.
Scolnik-Brower was accompanied by Tae Kim, a pianist with whom he had performed many of the pieces on the program before the event.