Pianos, Arpeggios and Moving Bass Lines

Photo By: Jon Martel

The recital began with Serenade in G major by Mozart, played by two piano duos of DA students. The piece is easily recognizeable and the eight hands working at the two pianos gave it an extra power to it’s natural upbeat and moving tempo. Next came two marches by Mozart played by Grace Han, who accentuated the contrast between the two with the first consisting of strong and powerful bass lines moving to the second which was more graceful with moving bass lines.
The concert hall was filled with the Latin flare of Dr. Watkins and Sabrina Morby playing Tango for Two by Rocherolle, that brought an atmosphere full of dancing rhythmns and singable melodies that warmed timbre changes. The melodies were then taken to the sounds of a joyous March in C major by Beethoven, played by Grace Han and Dr. Watkins, that started out with the sounds of horn calls to a dramatic fast-moving minor section that built tension, resolved to peaceful lulls with smooth arpeggios. The peace was abruptly ended with Tocatta, Op. 15 by Muczynski, performed by Christiana Schlelenger, as it’s dissonant modern harmonies and busy motion created the sound of an angry city with different notes all blending together in a mesh of melodies.

As the city settled, a blend of blues and tango could be heard as Mysha Frayman and Tyler Bechtle played Blue Tango by Anderson which brought tranquility to the audience.

Professor Edith Hubert, staff accompainist, and Dr. Watkins then took the audience to the symphony hall with an arrangement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 “The Military Symphony”. Even though the piece was played on piano, the qualities of different instruments such as strings and brass sections were displayed with the powerful force of the piano as well as its capability of extreme grace when contrasted. The piano’s capabilities were further demonstrated as Christiana Shelenberger and Tatiana Rusli played an arrangement of Saint-Saens’s finale to “Carnival of the Animals” with its brilliant and flashy introduction. The piece showed some of the acrobatics of the instrument and led into a child-like march that characterized the atmosphere of a circus march.

The concert was ended with the foreign textures of Rachmaninoff, Khachaturian and Bartok. Rachmoninoff’s Suite No. 2 showed a dramatic force that blended with sounds of a different land that paved the way for Khachaturian’s Toccata in E-flat minor, played by Sabrina Morby. The piece involved a blend of anxiety, mystery and hope that made it one of the more unique features of the evening. The finale of the concert being on the shoulders of Tyler Bechtle, senior Music Business student, with a powerful rendition of Barok’s “Allegro Barbaro” which created an almost primitive style that mixed with modern harmonies and professional realization, giving the recital a fitting ending.

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