Pianists Gibson and McGuiggin Give First Student Recitals

In their first ever recitals, two student pianists John Gibson ’15 and Bryan McGuiggin ’15, collaborated in a performance of highly technical pieces by renowned composers.

The concert began with Gibson playing the first movement of “Romanian Dance No. 1” composed by Bela Bartók. The feverish, offbeat chords kept the chromatic melody quick and rhythmic. Gibson retained a flexible tempo, freely slowing down and speeding up, pausing a bit between dissonant chords to create tension.

After various showpieces by Claude Debussy, Frederic Chopin and Anton Rubinstein, Gibson played the first movement of Robert Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor” with the accompaniment of Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music.

The two pianos complemented each other well, since the audience could clearly distinguish between the bright solo melody coming from the grand piano and the accompaniment that had the relatively muted sound of the practice piano.

Gibson said, “It was my first time giving a recital, and it was very challenging to practice 45 minutes worth of music. But it was a great experience because I was able to get good feedback from my colleagues about my playing.”

After intermission, McGuiggin took the stage, playing the seventh of the 12 “Transcendental Etudes” composed by Franz Liszt. In accordance to the piece’s nickname, “Eroica,” McGuiggin emphasized the bold theme with octaves and quick downward glissandos.

“The most important thing when you are playing music is the intentions of the composer. You have to put yourself in the place of the composer. The piano they had at the time of Beethoven was a lot different than those we have now, so we have to be creative with the techniques to accommodate for the differences,” said McGuiggin.

McGuiggin’s half of the recital culminated with “Sonata No. 21 in C Major” composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven, a work considered to be one of Beethoven’s greatest sonatas. His swift tempo set a thrilling melody in motion in accordance with the tempo marking, Allegro con Brio.

Joshua Henderson ’15, an audience member, said, “Brian’s playing sound was very neat because he has a sense of his music that not a lot of people have. He is able to reach into the minds of the composers.”