By Daniel Hautzinger
Performance experience is obviously invaluable for young musicians, but playing at a conservatory in front of peers and professors who know the piece intimately can be intimidating. As such, an audience out just to enjoy free music on a pleasant Sunday afternoon is well-appreciated. Hence Kent/Blossom Music Festival’s well-attended student recital at the airy Hudson Library on July 6. (There were a total of four student concerts last weekend, the other three in Ludwig Hall at Kent State University).
The students have two weeks to learn a piece mostly on their own, with occasional coachings from festival faculty members. The ensemble communication was impressive on Sunday in such circumstances, and each groups’ blend was enhanced by the library rotunda’s softening acoustics.
The program was bookended by pieces for wind ensemble. August Klughardt’s Quintet for Winds in C, op. 79, contained some satisfying interplay between instruments, like the shimmering trio played by flutist Kayla Faurie, oboist Mary Riddell, and clarinetist Rina Sugawara in the enchanting middle section of the third movement. Bassoonist Joshua Sechan and horn player Emily Schaefer later smoothly exchanged running lines in the fitful finale.
Those five winds were then replaced by five strings, for Luigi Boccherini’s Cello Quintet in C. Bram Margoles shone in the first violin part, zooming through fleet runs in the first movements over the solid foundation provided by Dorothy Gomez, violin, Ke Zhang, viola, and Hye Eun Park and David Olson, cello. Olson’s mournful solo in the lamenting third movement was a highlight.
Beethoven’s simple Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola in D, op. 25 brought Kayla Faurie back on flute, now joined by violinist Zhiyue You and violist Alberta Fan. The novel instrumental combination and a sprightly third movement redeemed this rather uninspired work, and its accessible themes matched the summer day.
A wind octet then offered a burnished palette of sounds in Willard Elliot’s arrangement of four of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, originally for piano. Rina Sugawara, clarinet, Joshua Sechan, bassoon, and Emily Schaefer, horn returned to the stage, now with Sarah Kendis and Mary O’Keefe, oboe (O’Keefe doubling on English horn), Kai-Ju Ho, clarinet, Sarah Tako, bassoon, and Jessica Young, horn. O’Keefe’s English horn solos lent a mysterious air to “Shepherd’s Boy,” which the swaying “Nocturne” and waltzing “Remembrances” then dissipated. “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen,” by turns celebratory and tender, then sent the audience whistling back into the sun.
Photo credited to Tec Inc
Published on ClevelandClassical.com July 8, 2014.
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