With a flurry of rapid strokes on the piano keys, Seho Young ’15 began the second movement of César Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major. Ji Seok Kim ’15 followed on the violin, accompanying the quick piano notes with swift strokes of his bow. As the movement reached its climax, increasing slowly in volume and intensity, Kim played higher and longer notes as Young’s fingers moved across the keys.
“The two players went well together, and the piano solo during one part was very good. They both worked together well to give off the bittersweet tone of the piece,” said audience member Clio Polanco Cercado ’20.
This piece was one of several performed as part of Kim and Young’s alumni recital, held last Saturday night in the Timken Room of Graves Hall. The pair were invited to play by Diane Sachs, Office Manager of the Music Department, and worked together to construct a repertoire.
“I do think the performance went well. I think we played the pieces in a way that we never [were] really able to before. We were in the zone, and we brought our emotions that didn’t come through in rehearsals,” said Young.
Both Kim and Young cite the Franck Sonata as their favorite piece to play from the repertoire, as it is full of emotion and passion.
“[The Franck Sonata is] regarded as one of the best violin sonata repertoires out there. I just really like it, and I love the story. I love how it came to [be] a popular piece. It was written for a violinist’s wedding. He played it to symbolize his relationship with his wife, so it has a lot of meaning and backstory to it,” said Kim.
Kim and Young’s music selections were inspired by their shared experiences during their time at Andover and their love for the music.
“Ji Seok and I, we’ve been friends since [Junior] year of Andover. We were both in the same grade. These were two pieces that we really liked to listen to a lot, not only when we were here, but in general. We just had this idea and said, ‘Let’s play these pieces together!’ And so we got together,” said Young.
After leaving Andover, Kim and Young feel that they have matured and are able to play their pieces with more sensitivity and understanding. Since they currently live in different states, the pair cited coordinating and finding time to rehearse as a challenge.
“For me, the toughest thing was finding the time to rehearse, because we’re from different places. [Young]’s at Princeton [University], and I’m at MIT, Boston area. So I needed to travel there to find time to rehearse, so coordinating that was the hardest part,” said Kim.
Despite the challenges, Kim and Young’s dynamic enabled them to play well with each other as well as enhance the quality of their performances.
“Obviously, we’re best friends, so that helps a lot. We know each other really well. We’ve played with each other for a long time, so we know what to hear for in each other. We know how to bring up the other person. We talk about a lot of things in the music. I compliment him and I criticize him a lot, and that’s what we do to each other,” said Young.