BY ANN MARLEY, STAFF WRITER
A junior saxophone and vocal recital and a senior cello recital were performed this weekend.
The junior recital, performed by Coleman Rowlett and Emily Kneuer, was on March 14 while Jon Moody’s senior recital was on March 15.
Rowlett, a junior composition major, performed three pieces by composers Alexandre Techerepnin, Ryo Noda and Alexandre Tansman.
The first piece, titled “Sonatine Sportive,” is for alto saxophone and piano. “It was written to combine the excitement of sports with music,” Rowlett said.
He explained that the first movement of the piece represented boxing. “The piano starts off playing these octave pitches and steady eighth notes and the saxophone comes in attacking the pianist. As the saxophone gets close to reaching the pitch that the piano is on, which is the piano’s defense, the pianist moves to a different piece to change position on the field, so the saxophone changes tactics,” he said.
The second movement was a peaceful piece, representing halftime. The final movement was a race. Rowlett said: “It starts off with the saxophone and the piano comes in two measures later. As the piece goes on, they get closer and closer to being together.”
The piece by Noda was for solo alto saxophone. Rowlett said that it was meant to emulate the Shakuhachi flute. The piece does not sound like western music, but like native flute music.
“Most people wouldn’t look at the saxophone and expect those sounds to come out,” he said.
His final piece was written for bassoon and piano, though he will be playing the baritone saxophone.
“That piece is a killer,” he said. “It’s about 10 to 12 minutes long, and it’s fast.” The piece plays through the entire range of the instrument, showing that the baritone saxophone can be virtuosic and beautiful, according to Rowlett.
Rowlett, who has been playing the saxophone for ten years, was accompanied by Arlo Ehly.
Rowlett’s recital partner, Kneuer, is a junior music education major with a concentration in voice.
Kneuer, a soprano, performed compositions by Claude Debussy, Albert Roussel, Frideric Handel and Samuel Barber.
The three Debussy pieces depict imagery such as a field of flowers, the starry night and “a loving soul in the garden of the storyteller’s thoughts,” according to Kneuer. The first two compositions were written the first year that Debussy began composing.
She also performed a flute and voice duet by Roussel. She said, “The voice speaks of fascinating aspects of the earth, while the flute gently accents as the list goes on.”
In Handel’s aria “Ah! Spietato,” Kneuer portrays a character that expresses bitter feelings at her rejection. She said, “Although hurt, she is still hopelessly in love, which she divulges in the contrasting second half of the aria.”
Finally, she finished with a four song set by Barber called “Hermit Songs.” The set tells the thoughts of a pilgrim traveling to an ancient sanctuary, the birth and death of Christ and presents the pilgrim with the solution of living as a hermit.
Kneuer was accompanied by Lecturer in Music Ilya Blinov on piano, senior Nathan Kendrick on harpsichord and junior Kaela Bitting on flute. Kneuer said, “It’s a little scary being on stage by myself, but having someone to share the experience with will make it a lot easier.”
On Sunday, Moody performed two 25-minute pieces for his recital.
Moody, was also accompanied by Blinov on piano, selected Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Suite No. 6” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major.”
He said that the Bach suite was written for a baroque instrument that was essentially a cello with five strings. He will be playing it on a four-string cello, thus requiring him to play higher.
“A lot of people don’t play this suite. It’s really hard. I shouldn’t be playing this, honestly,” he said.
Moody said that he chose this particular suite because he has learned all of Bach’s other suites and was looking for a challenge.
Of the Beethoven, he said that he liked the key of A Major. “It’s a really bright key and happy,” he explained.
Moody said that he has been preparing these pieces since the summer, but has recently been preparing them for graduate school auditions where he hopes to continue studying cello performance.
He said that he worked with one of the teachers at Miami University who told him specifically what to do with his arms and his body.
“It kind of made me want to look at each note and phrase and micromanage it all,” he said. “I feel like if I do that with every rep I have, I can push my playing to a higher level.”
Moody said he began playing the cello when he was nine years old, but started playing the violin when he was three. “My parents were really good about it and brought me up with the whole music thing. I was just lucky,” he said.
BY ANN MARLEY, STAFF WRITER