12th Annual Rall Symposium Recitals
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Recitals will take place in the following order:
“Si Mes Vers Avaient Des Ailes” by Reynaldo Hahn
Emily Anne Smith ’10, Music Education: Choral Emphasis Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden Hagen, Music
Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947), a Venezuelan-born French composer and prodigy, is primarily known for his elegant art songs. In the course of his lifetime, he wrote nearly 60 mélodies. His most famous art song, “Si Mes Vers Avaient Des Ailes,” was published in 1889; Hahn was only 15. Translated as “If My Verses Had Wings,” the French text (from a poem by Victor Hugo) poetically describes the words themselves taking flight “comme l’oiseau” (like the bird), “comme l’esprit” (like the mind), and “comme l’amour” (like love). In preparing this piece, I worked on vocal techniques, such as lengthening phrases, along with using solid support necessary for dynamic demands and ascending melodic lines. I also strove to fully convey the poetic meaning behind the text through musical expression.
“Sonata” by Francois Devienne
Gwendolyn Bowman ’09, Political Science, Sociology Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music
Francois Devienne (1759-1803) was a French composer during the classical period and was also known in Paris as a flautist and bassoonist. He wrote many successful operas in the 1790s. His pieces are similar to the spirit of Mozart and are known for their grace and balance. “Sonata” for flute is characteristically French because of Devienne’s use of ornamentation. I chose the Presto section because it is fast and energetic. The Presto section is distinctively from the classical period because of the precise accent markings and clear-cut rhythms. While the piece leaves little room to improvise, I have attempted to make it more dance-like by softening some articulations and smoothing out some runs in order to give the piece a more fun, flowing quality—highlighting the grace that Devienne is known for.
“Liebestreu” by Johannes Brahms
Douglas Pawlik ’09, Music Education: Choral Emphasis Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden Hagen, Music
Born in Hamburg in 1833 and spending most of his professional life in Vienna, Johannes Brahms’ musical legacy is that of a leading composer of the Romantic Period and one of the last champions of music in its long-established tonality and “pure” form. However, the perfection-obsessed composer often pushed music’s limits with works like “Liebestreu” (Love’s Fidelity), the first and often regarded as best of the six in the Opus 3 set. The text tells the story of a woman’s anguish and sadness over lost love. Brahms’ accompaniment meticulously balances the urgency and storminess of the text with the comforting and kindhearted moments. Working on this piece has helped me to carefully measure the effect and purpose of each word and melodic phrase, as well as encouraged me to approach each piece with the same scrupulous intent and focus as that of the prolific and unpredictable Brahms.
“Piano Prelude No. 2” by George Gershwin
Louise Kelley ’09, Music Education: Choral Emphasis Advisor: Ms. Barbara Vanderwall, Music
George Gershwin, famous for his synthesis of jazz and classical styles, published “Three Preludes for Piano” in 1926. First performed in New York City, this second prelude of the set Gershwin is referred to as “The Blue Lullaby.” Recent scholarship taken directly from Gershwin’s piano rolls suggests non traditional markings of accents and tenudos. These accents are highly syncopated and drive the melody in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise interpreted it. This extra syncopation tilts the song toward jazz on the continuum from jazz to classical that Gershwin’s music encompasses. As both a classical and jazz pianist myself, I am mindful of this continuum in my interpretation of this piece. This piece represents for me the opportunity to express elements of the jazz style without the use of improvisation, but rather, using classical devices such as explicit phrasing, notation and pedal markings.
“By the Sea” by Roger Quilter
Jonathan Schroerlucke ’09, Music Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden Hagen, Music
“By the Sea” is a mysterious and chilling piece of music. Quilter always has a knack for letting the music complement the words; however, in this piece his composing of the accompaniment in relation to the melody is something to marvel at. When approaching this piece I tried to get a sense of what the composer’s intent was. The words seem so memorable and happy, yet, the music is in a minor key which makes the words come across as sad or even bitter at times. What is nice about this piece is it is not hard to discover where to apply individual expression. The music creates a sort of inevitability in regard to how to sing it. As with all Quilter compositions, once the piece comes together it creates a vivid scene in the imagination and has the potential to carry you away.
“Suite op. 34 Final” by Charles Marie Widor
Alicia Zimmerman ’12,
Health and Physical Education: Elementary Education Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Van Oyen, Music
Charles Marie Widor was born in 1844 to a family of organ builders in France. As a child, he studied the organ. As a young man, along with his organ performances, he began composing. Widor was 58 years old in 1898 when he composed “Suite op. 34” written for flute and piano. The suite has four movements: Suite, Scherzo, Romance and Final. Working on the fourth movement of this piece has challenged me as a musician to focus on the technical and rhythmic aspects of playing. A recording of Emmanuel Pahud playing this piece has mentally helped me to create an image of a spring day as the flute creates a hummingbird sound. As I play, I put a story to the music and play each note as it would sound in nature. If I were to put words to this piece, Hummingbird Dance would be the title.
“Ah! Je Veux Vivre” by Charles Gounod
Mallory Harding ’09, Music Education: Choral Emphasis Advisor: Ms. Linda Ogden Hagen, Music
Charles Gounod was born in Paris in 1818 and is perhaps best known for his two most famous operas, “Faust” and “Romèo et Juliet.” “Romèo et Juliet,” based on the tragedy by Shakespeare, was composed in 1867 and was arguably the highlight of Gounod’s career. This opera is unique among the many operas based on plays by Shakespeare because it is one of the few that is actually very popular. The aria “Ah! Je Veux Vivre,” also known as Juliet’s waltz, is a favorite from the opera. The title translates “I Want to Live” and takes place in Act I when Juliet is singing to her nurse after being presented at her debut ball. In working on this piece, I learned how to change my vocal color to add to the contrast of certain sections of the aria and also worked on acting to portray the character of Juliet.