Students Perform Renditions of Classic Dance and Vocal Pieces

With soft and fluttering notes, Eric You ’18 began playing a light-hearted, cheery melody on the saxophone from the third movement of Gabriel Pierné’s “Canzonetta Op. 19.” He then continued with a call and response pattern with the piano accompanist, Yoon Wha Roh, Adjunct Instructor in Music, followed by one final ascending scale, and ending with a smooth, steady final note.

You was one of nine students who performed in the Student Recital this Wednesday in the Timken Room. The concert featured a wide variety of musicians playing instruments ranging from alto saxophones to flutes and cellos.

Daniel Yen ’18 opened the recital with “Cello Suite No.5 in C minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach. With one long stroke of his bow, Yen began playing a low, vibrating note, accompanied on the piano by Roh. The piece quickened as Yen played a series of flowing, sorrowful melodies and ended the piece with a sonorous note. According to Yen in an interview with The Phillipian, Bach is said to have composed this piece while learning how to play the cello, which is why the beginning of the song has an air of improvisation to it.

“I like [Bach’s compositions] because they’re very complex and they have harmonies, they have melodies, all over the place, and you have to really look to find them, look for the parts to highlight. There are so many different ways to interpret Bach. It’s just so open-ended,” said Yen.

Sophie Liu ’20 followed Yen’s performance, playing “Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 30, No. 6” by Felix Mendelssohn on the piano. The song started with slow, peaceful chords followed by a rising melody and an extended, flickering trill. The repeating musical ornaments throughout the piece, accompanied by a strong steady harmony, mimicking the feeling of swaying on a boat.

“ I like how [the piece] could really create an atmosphere that set the scene for a Venetian gondola. I [also] like the part when it goes on a long crescendo until it reaches a climax, and then it drops really beautifully down,” said Liu.

Melanie Cheung ’20 concluded the recital, playing “Waltz in B minor, Op. 69, No. 2” by Frédéric Chopin on the piano.  She began the piece with a repeating melody in the right hand, accompanied by a waltz-like rhythm in the left. Introducing a number of descending scales, Cheung returned to the original melody to finish the piece.

“ I like the beginning and the end. Part of it is because that’s the bit where I am the most familiar, so that’s where I can mess around with the tempo,” said Cheung.