Faculty members wowed a wide audience on Tuesday, Sept. 19 with their varied selection of pieces in the second installment of the Fall Concert Series which took place in the Julien J. Studley Theatre.
Joël Evans (Oboe), Ruthanne Schempf (Piano) and Susan Seligman (Cello) performed a mixture of 18th and 19th century parlor pieces, displaying an assortment of their talents and their arrangements’ intricacies.
“The pieces chosen for the concert were typical works performed in the courts of royalty and the private salons of the wealthy,” Evans said. “Although there is no connection between the various works, hence the concert title ‘Collage,’ there is a warmth and intimacy contained in each piece that speaks to the small personal audiences of the time.”
The night began at 8 p.m. with the three musicians playing Sonata in E-Flat, originally by Georg Philipp Telemann, charming the audience immediately. Dynamic and uplifting, it took the listeners on a rollercoaster of sounds and emotions.
The musicians introduced their pieces, giving historical context and interesting tidbits of information on why they selected them. The collage of sounds jumped around chronologically, strewn together by their intimate nature and lively melodies.
The second work of the night was Pastorale, Op. 38 by Howard Hanson, featuring Evans and Schempf, while Seligman was finished for the night. Evans introduced the piece, explaining why he chose it and how it was dedicated to Hanson’s girlfriend, later his wife, as a kind of early wedding gift.
“This piece is just charming,” Evans told the audience. “It really mixes a whole lot of different colors very successfully.”
The next number was Schempf on her own on the piano, performing Images II by Claude Debussy. Schempf introduced these pieces as an exciting challenge for her, one she was honored to be able to play.
“These pieces are remarkable and quite humbling to play,” Schempf said.
The final item of the night was Solo de Concert by Emile Paladilhe. Evans spoke on it, playfully drawing attention to how the oboe has grown and changed overtime, informing the audience on how the pieces played all highlighted this development through the years.
“I’m playing this on the same kind of oboe [Paladilhe]used, not the oboe, but the same kind, from the same year, 1898,” Evans said. “It’s much lighter, freer, and has fewer keys.”
Seligman joined the audience to watch her colleagues perform the finishing number. Ending at around 9 p.m., the audience shuffled out of the theatre, buzzing with comments on the melodious evening.
“We actually have performed many of these pieces for small audiences and gatherings at private homes and libraries in the Hudson Valley,” Evans said. “This approach to performance recreates the typical environment of the 18th and 19th century in Europe and America.”