Student Musicians Play Varied Repertoire in Senior Concerto

In the first Senior Concerto of the Winter Term, three Senior musicians playing three very different instruments showcased their capstone musical repertoire on Saturday night. Hyunji Koo ’14 kicked off the night with a masterful rendition of the fourth movement of Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E Minor,” which maintained a balance between contemplation and melody. According to Koo, she chose the fourth movement because of the piece’s numerous tempo and key changes, two factors that contribute to the piece’s challenging nature. “My piece is supposed to be really dramatic, since it’s from the Romantic period. I like the beginning and ending because they were louder and powerful, but my absolute favorite was the middle; it is so soft, making it sound more mournful,” said Koo. Koo showed off her dexterity on the cello, where she manipulated the middle section of the movement with wide, loose vibrato. In the “Più Lento” section, where the tempo is supposed to slow down tremendously, Koo quickly transformed her loud, ringing vibrato into slow, barely audible oscillations within a few measures. After Koo’s meticulous attention to the phrasing of the piece, she ended her performance with a rich fanfare. Contrasting the end of Koo’s somber performance on the cello, flutist Julia Kim ’14 commenced the recital with a fast and playful rendition of Malcolm Arnold’s “Concerto No. 1 for Flute and Strings,” playing the second movement entitled “Andante.” In the first movement of the piece, “Allegro con energico,” Kim put heavy emphasis on dynamics as she created bigger sounds to show the increasing suspense of the piece. The piece’s legato parts gave off an ominous feel, while the trills as well as the repeating notes built up the excitement for the end. “My favorite is in the second movement [Andante] where it gets slow. One section calls to me, and I especially love the emotions out of everything,” said Kim. Pianist Nathan Sheng ’14 ended the concert with an exciting interpretation of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No.1 in F Sharp Minor.” Sheng’s played the “Vivace” movement with the appropriate intensity and panache required for the piece—his fingers flew rapidly across the keys, creating a sharp contrast in the texture of the different melodies. Sheng played with uncontainable energy, all the while keeping the rhythm consistent in order to maintain the integrity of the piece. “I would have to say everyone performing in the concert was extremely talented and dedicated to the music. I really enjoyed watching my peers perform everything they have been working for, and I really enjoyed the music,” said Lydia Firku ’17.