Assoc. Arts & Culture Editor
On Friday, April 18, 2014, Kailey Brennan on viola and Ian Schiela on violin performed their joint junior recital in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall at the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Schiela started the show with “Sonata No. 17 (No. 8) K.V. 296 (1778 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was accompanied by Nathanael Danzinger on the piano. The sonata has three parts and was composed by Mozart on March 11, 1778 in Mannheim, Germany. Mozart dedicated this song to Austrian-born pianist and composer Josepha Barbara Auernhammer. This violin sonata begins with the Andante Sostenuto movement which begins with a playful C major chord, a mood that it retains throughout the first movement. The second movement slows the piece down while infusing it with a levity that makes the notes seem to float through the air. Its gentleness draws the listener close to the piece while its colorful nature keeps the listener engaged. The third and final movement is a lively rondo which brings the piece back to the quickened pace of the first movement. Its syncopated rhythms push the movement back towards the beginning of the sonata, ending on a C major chord like it began.
Brennan took the stage for the next composition, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Suite No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007,” performing the fourth and sixth movements, Minuet and Gigue, respectively. This suite was most likely composed between 1717 and 1723, and is one of the most recognizable compositions for the cello. “Suite No. 1 in G Major” is regularly heard in films and on television, with the Minuet being a French social dance for two and the Gigue being a lively dance originating from the British jig.
Vincent Persichetti’s “Masques Op. 99 (1965)” was next, with movements one, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, and ten performed by Schiela, with Danzinger on piano. These movements are Allegro, Andantino, Moderato, Sostenuto, Allegretto, Lento, Allegro, and Moderato, respectively. Persichetti was born in Philadelphia in 1917, and his piece “Masques” is a collection of ten short pieces, each less than a minute long, with each piece concentrating on the strange harmonic relationship between the parts on piano and the parts on violin.
Brennan took the stage for the next two pieces with Sharon Ho accompanying her on piano. First was “Elegy” by Alexander Glazunov, a Russian composer, conductor, and educator during the late Russian Romantic Period. His “Elegy” in G minor for violin was composed in 1893, and comes from the Greek word for lament. It describes mournful or melancholic songs which are often written for funerals or about people who have died. The second piece is called “Viola Concerto in E? Major” and was composed by Carl Friedrich Zelter around 1779. Zelter composed almost exclusivelt for piano and voice, with this piece being the exception. The first movement, Allegro, is a beautiful piece that allows the piano and viola to play off one another. Allegro is the first of three movements in the piece, followed by Adagio non troppo and rondo.
Schiela performed the final piece, “6th Air Varié, Op. 89 No. 6 (1859)” by Jean Babtisté Charles Dancla, with Danzinger accompanying on piano. Dancla wrote each of these songs based on themes by several other notable composers, with the sixth and final based on a theme by Saverio Mercadane. It is formed by several variations on a theme which is first heard as the piece starts during the introduction. Each movement of this piece has a life of its own, yet still remains centered on the theme. The first variation is lively and uses groupings of eighth note triplets and string crossings. The second variation is arpeggiated with chromaticism to build up some tension. The third and final variation is the climax of the piece, with brilliant and colorful scales, paired with ascending and descending accented arpeggios. The final section builds tension through fast double-stops before closing the piece in a thoroughly resolved manner.