By Tierra Oliver
Students in the applied music program showcased their progress and intrigued the audience with lively, pleasant music at the Student Recital last Wednesday.
The recital featured students in applied violin, guitar, piano and voice classes. Held in the S2 Recital Hall, class piano and Applied Piano instructor Lucy Nargizyan, Ph.D accompanied the performers on piano.
Soprano singer Sushien Chang opened with a lukewarm performance of “Caro Mio Ben,” an 18th century Italian aria composed by Tommaso Giordani.
Though her vocal set-up remained strong throughout the piece, she started off sounding a bit shaky. As the song progressed, Chang sounded more relaxed and was able to project the song clearly.
Sig Li followed after Chang’s performance. Li sang “Una donna a quindici anni,” from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, beginning strong with a rich glottal onset, sustaining excellent support singing in her upper register at the song’s buildup.
Li’s use of appropriate dynamics paired with her ability to move through notes with agility kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
The only guitarist and first instrumentalist to take the stage was Cesar Clemente with Fernando Sor’s “Andante in C Major, Op. 35, No.1.”
Throughout the piece, Clemente seemed unsure of the correct chords, taking away from the overall interpretation of the Spanish guitarist’s original composition.
There was no definite ending to the performance, making it unclear whether he had come to the end of the song or walked off before making it all the way to the end.
Pianist Francisco Lopez performed Bach’s “Prelude No. 1,” to a level of mastery. He set the tone building up the piece with his execution of dynamic. Romantic crescendo and decrescendo techniques brought passion of this beautiful 18th century classic to life.
A violin and piano duet of “Sonata in D Minor,” composed by Arcangelo Corelli followed with Miguel Lopez, who played violin.
The song got off to a rough start and sounded harsh through key changes. The song choice, however, was a good one. The nostalgic string tones of the violin paired with the sweet piano notes satisfied the sad love song.
“Heart, We Will Forget Him,” kept the nostalgic mood alive as performed by soprano Bianca Galicia. From the song’s onset, Galicia’s vocal dynamics captivated the audience. She swept the audience into the emotion-filled embrace of the sad composition by Aaron Copland that depicts a bittersweet goodbye.
She transitioned through the notes gracefully, smoothly moving through upward slurs with clarity and fluidity. Her breath support remained steady throughout especially in the upper register, allowing her to hit the high notes with a deep, rich sound.
A vocal trio of Angelica Solis, soprano, Sonia Rodriguez, alto, and Sam Aguirre, bass, sang Mozart’s “Soave sia il vento,” another piece from Cosi fan tutte.
The backdrop for this piece is about two women whose husbands pretend to be drafted to war as a stunt to test their fidelity, a plan instigated by Aguirre’s character. Much like a scene from an opera would play out, the trio remained in character the entire time.
Their interaction with one another onstage made the scenario interpretable setting the scene and overall mood of the song. The three harmonized beautifully, with each vocalist taking the dominant pitch during different sections of the song.
Joseph Arquette was the last singer to take stage lending his rich baritone voice to a song entitled “The Vagabond” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Arquette’s powerful vocals provided excellent support and projection in such a low vocal register. The rise and fall through the use of vocal dynamic supplied the gusto expected from Arquette.
He defined each of his phrases clearly using a technique to give each musical phrase its own shape and color.
The last two performers to take the stage were pianists Melody Lin and Jerome de Los Santos. Both played advanced level pieces and did so elegantly.
Lin swept the audience away with “Etude in F Major, Op.10, No.8,” which begins with whirlwind speed and maintains that timing all the way through the song. Her agility was impressive, and she did not miss a beat leaning into the piano, hands flying up and down across the keys with fingers titillating up and down as she went.
De Los Santos ends on a sweet note with “Etude in E Major, Op. 20, No. 3.” The melody begins gentle and easy, a change of pace from the previous musician’s performance.
The piece has two small build-ups before the ending climax where the tone becomes distraught and flailing, allowing the melody to become deconstructed. Once again, the song settles into the sweeter tones it began with, leaving us with a pleasant sound in our ears.