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Less Is More: Chamber Music Concert

It is now time for the Chamber Music Fall Recital, directed by Ava Soifer. The Asawa SOTA Chamber Music program is a collaboration of the Piano, Orchestra, and Band Departments. Special thanks to artists in residence Victoria Ehrlich, Matt Cmiel, and Scott Cmiel.

Trio Op. 63 Allegro Moderato by Carl Maria Von Weber was performed by flautist Hansen Wu, cellist Elizabeth Jones, and pianist Rubina Mazurka. In this piece, there was an obvious dialogue between the instruments. Performers Mr. Wu and Ms. Jones produced an effect of two people having a conversation through their instruments.

Fairy Tales Op. 132 I. Lebhaft nicht zu schnell and II. Lebhaft und sehr markiert by Robert Schumann was performed by violinist Joan Shalit, violist Sydney Van Buren, and pianist Jeremy Rosenstock. In the whole piece, which is dedicated to the German violinist and conductor Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, there are four movements, each one depicting an event or character from a certain fairytale. In the first two movements scenes from Brother Grimm's Rapunzel are described. The entire ensemble played the first two movements of this piece well as an ensemble, sharing the inner feeling and character of both pieces. Mr. Rosenstock proved a while ago that he has a phenomenal technique, and tonight it was especially noticeable during the two movements. Ms. Shalit and Ms. Van Buren blended well into one musical phrase together, producing an effect of a whole.

Cantata # 84 "Ich Esse Mit Freuden" by J.S. Bach was performed by soprano Arlyss Hays, pianist Desiree Phlegar, and flautists Doreen Pacini & Maddie Tuning. The ensemble worked in great harmony with each other, and Ms. Hays was in a good voice that evening.

Legends Op. 59 #3 Allegro Giusto by Anton Dvorak was performed by pianists Jeffrey Qiu and Michael Wierega. Both Mr. Qiu and Mr. Wierega are new to SOTA. (Mr. Qiu is a sophomore and Mr. Wierega is a freshman.) The Slavic melodies in Dvorak's piece were wonderfully depicted by the young musicians.

Piano Trio KV498(Kegelstatt) Allegretto by W.A. Mozart was performed by violist Hanna Friedlander, clarinetist Sarah Evenson, and pianist Alice Kubo. Personally, I enjoyed Ms. Evenson's and Ms. Friedlander's playing very much. I have heard Ms. Evenson perform onstage many times before and knew that she is fabulous. It was my first time hearing Ms. Friedlander performing and I was very glad that Ava Soifer put the two into one chamber group. This number in the performance stood out for me.

Piano Trio Il Romanza; Andante espressivo by Gian Carlo Menotti was performed by violinist Raina Christeson, clarinetist Angelica Talosig, and pianist Jennica Li. Ms. Christeson shaped the phrases confidently, but at the same time she played congenially with the ensemble. Ms. Li's part was difficult, but despite this she managed to perform in a flexible way.

Concerto in D Major Grave and Allegro by Georg Phillip Telemann was performed by guitarists Gianfranco Baltazar, Viv Sharp, Peter Varga, and Koji Yuan. For both pieces, I enjoyed the ensemble and how each guitar echoed the guitar that played before it.

Serenade marcia by Dohnanyi was performed by violinist Kana Luzmoor, violist Hanna Friedlander, and cellist Kayin Thomas. They had a very coordinated ensemble.

Quartet Op. 130 "Cavatina" Adagio molto espressivo by Ludwig van Beethoven was performed by the Dragon Quartet with violinists Anju Goto and Theo Haber, violist Christine Lee, and cellist Christine Blair. The entire set of musicians changed from last year's Dragon Quartet and I found them very entertaining.

Piano Trio Op. 26 Allegro moderato by Anton Dvorak was performed by violinist Theo Haber, cellist Annie Kwak, and pianist Iven Feng. This conclusion to the evening was unforgettable in all of its aspects. Mr. Haber and Ms. Kwak phrased their parts in a similar way but with lots of contrast. Mr. Feng is known for his emotional playing, and this evening was not an exception. He let the emotions pour out of him, which is what is cherished in a good performer.
 
I enjoyed being part of this recital and I am looking forward to the next Chamber Concert.

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