“Si, Tra I Ceppi,” a piece in Italian libretto from Handel’s famous opera Berenice, proved to be the perfect start to last Wednesday’s Afternoon Recital Series in the College’s Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall. One of the College’s very own music students masterfully perfected his voice, singing with total control of pitch. Much like an actual operatic performance, he sang without the assistance of a microphone, projecting his voice clearly throughout the entire hall.
The next performance featured a set of four Timpani — large, brass drums — which commanded the attention of the audience with each resonating strike. The timpanist played each intricate passage deftly without sacrificing dynamic range and breadth of sound.
Next on stage was Joseph Pagani to perform Marcel Grandjany’s “Deep River Interlude” on the harp. The graceful movement of his hands along the harp’s strings produced a captivating sound signature of this instrument. Each note added to the enchanting aura of the piece, culminating in an elegant, yet definitive climax which resolved to a series of more delicate notes demarcating the piece’s end.
Taylor Lorchak took stage after Pagani and performed composer Richard Strauss’s “Horn Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major.” While mellow at its start, the piece quickly gains momentum and can soon be defined by its strength of sound and complexity. Lorchak was accompanied on stage by a staff pianist whose performance on the piano complemented Lorchak’s showcase of the horn’s tonal movements by offering a light, upbeat foil for the horn’s dark, hauntingly beautiful sound.
“Solo de Concert, Op. 35” was next in the line-up, performed by Jason Hui on the bassoon — a woodwind instrument in the double reed family. The wide range achievable on the bassoon, along with the general agility of the instrument lent themselves beautifully to the occasional uptempo interludes found throughout the rest of the composition’s chamber styling. The bassoon’s reedy timbre was complimented by an accompanying piano, highlighting the darker sound of the bassoon. After the final note, Hui smiled out into the audience, acknowledged the chorus of applause and exited the stage so that the concluding pianist could begin.
The final performance of the afternoon was of a stunning musical arrangement, composed by the famous Ludwig van Beethoven: “Piano Sonata in C Major Op. 2, No. 3.” The student pianist’s rendition of the fourth movement, “Allegro Assai,” meaning “very fast,” was precise and exciting. The nature of the piece, to explore a full range of notes within a very brief time span, was both interesting and powerful. Quickly ascending the scales, the composition is able to demonstrate, to the fullest extent, not only the piano’s possibilities, but the talent of the pianist.
Marlee Ernst, sophomore music education major, commended the afternoon recital series for exhibiting the talent of the College’s music students. “The Wednesday recitals are a great way for students to showcase their work and allow for students outside the music department to hear what goes on in the music building,” Ernst said.