Music to your ears: first recital is a delight

By Elena Tafone
Correspondent

The Department of Music’s Afternoon Recital Series kicked off by showcasing the multi-instrumental achievements of its students on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Mason is accompanied by piano as he woos the audience on the flute. (Photo by Melanie Orr)

The recital, held in Mayo Concert Hall, included performances by students Alexander Mason, Eden Roberts, Manuel Martinez, Raquel L. Nobile and Jakob Lenhardt to an audience of  peers, friends and relatives.

“(The recitals) are a requirement for music majors, but I do enjoy them,” art history and music double major Stephani Faljean said.

Mason, a flutist who typically practices at least three hours a day, opened the show. His dedication shined through during his rendition of French composer Paul Taffanel’s “Fantaisie sur le Freischütz.”

“I research a bunch of my favorite flute players on YouTube and Spotify and run them through with my teacher,” Mason said on the topic of piece selection.

Next to perform in the recital was Roberts, a musician whose instrument was her own voice. A mezzo soprano, she performed “Weep You No More Op.12, No.1” by Roger Quilter.

The audience was pulled from the early 20th century into the not-so-distant past when soprano saxophonist Martinez played a smooth concerto by John Mackey.

Yet, the following performance by Nobile was a sharp turn back to the classics with a piece by Mozart. The song “Batti, batti, o bel Masetto” from the opera “Don Giovanni” was sung beautifully, even though it was incomprehensible to listeners who did not understand Italian.

Finally, Lenhardt concluded the show with a playful execution of “Guisganderie,” composed by Faustin and Maurice Jeanjean for clarinet. Despite foregoing sheet music, Lenhardt seemed to visibly feel the music, his body moving almost as much as his fingers.

All four performances also featured piano accompaniment by performers Kathy Shanklin, James Lubrano and Sally Livingston.

“As a (music) student, you have to perform in one every year,” Faljean said. “I’m a senior, so I have my recital in the spring — that will be my main performance.”

For all the practice that goes into the performances, the recitals express the true levels of dedication and passion that students have for music.