Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Talented Young Artist - Reta

Tonight my family had the opportunity to attend the solo recital for a young lady in our neighborhood, Reta (I'll omit her last name for privacy reasons). She played a portion of Mendelssohn's popular Song Without Words as well as Beethoven's entire Sonata No. 8 (Opus 13) - Pathetique (or Patetica). She played the Mendelssohn beautifully and had a great array of dynamics throughout the piece.

Her Beethoven Sonata was superb. For those of you unfamiliar with this work, it is quite a popular Sonata of his. The opening Grave section is a fine example of Beethoven's unique style and how he breaks away from the Classical genre of his day transitioning into the Romantic period. This work was written during his younger years but, in my opinion, is still full of the innovation that Beethoven produced throughout his lifetime. The second movement of this piece is a beautiful Adagio. Beethoven indicated Adagio cantabile for the second movement, where "cantabile" translates to something like "singable" or "song-like". I would describe cantabile as something you find yourself singing along to even though there are no lyrics. This can be a bit tricky in this piece because the melody is carried in the right hand along with a moving accompanyment. Reta did a wonderful job of bringing out this "song-like" melody. As it happens, I was already planning on releasing a recording of this second movement on my Lisztonian website within the next 2-3 weeks - so stay tuned for that.

I appreciated the fact that the recital was treated informally, so we were able to bring our children. I always love opportunities to expose my children to good music. It is so encouraging to attend performances of young artists because it reminds me that classical piano music is still alive and well!

Reta, you did an excellent job! Brava! You played beautifully and I look forward to hearing your music again in the future.