After the house lights dimmed and the eager applause of the audience subsided, there was a brief yet wonderful moment of anticipatory silence, and then the music began.
From the dignified, elegant strains of the opening baroque sonata to the final notes of the jazz standard, “Ain’t Misbehavin,” Nov. 9 was a wonderful evening of beautiful chamber music played by some of CSUN’s finest musicians in the Music Recital Hall.
The program was marked by many contrasts and vivid instrumental colors. It was an eclectic mix of music, old and new, traditional and modern, from the baroque to avant-garde.
The concert of chamber music put on by the Music Department is part of a class taught by professors Julia Heinen and Mary Kim. The purpose of the class is for students to develop professional-level chamber ensemble performance through a detailed study of rehearsal and performance chamber music techniques.
The concert program consisted of six small groups between two and four musicians. The performance was the culmination of the extremely hard work on the part of these wonderful musicians.
The program began with Aziza Syed on piano and Kyna Graham on saxophone performing the first two movements of Handel’s Sonata No. 3.
The contrasting Allegro movement that followed was lively and playful with much more interplay between the instruments.
The performance that followed was Trio for Flute, Oboe, and Piano by a Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave. The piece was performed by Melissa Odle on flute, Lindsey Sears on oboe, and Amanda Wu on piano. It was interesting the way the composer created a balanced texture for these dissimilar instruments.
Trio Pathetique in d minor, composed by Russian composer Michael Glinka, rounded out the first half of the program. Crystal Fisher played clarinet, Anthony Irwin, bassoon and Rina was on piano.
The show began with a bold, expressive theme. Fisher’s clarinet playing was smooth and clean with clear highs and creamy, rich lows. Schloss’s performance was powerful and dramatic. The non-verbal communication by this trio was evident in their tight, cohesive performance.
“Anagrams and Aphorisms” for clarinet and contrabass, composed by William Toutant, dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication showcased the considerable technical abilities of both Arthur Karapetian on clarinet and Brenton Kossak on double bass.
One of the featured techniques that Karapetian employed on his clarinet was a device called “multiphonics,” which is an extremely difficult technique where the player will produce two, three, or even four notes simultaneously.
The following performance was Andante et Rondo, Opus 25 by Austrian Composer Franz Doppler. The lyrical piece was performed by Grace Eun-Hye Kim and Eunice Ho Sun Lim, on flute and Sandy Yu Hui Wu, piano. The contrasting sections of the composition were tied together by the melodic interplay of the two flutes. The predominant emotion was one of great joy.
The evening concluded with three very different pieces performed by what trombonist Paul Hunt humorously referred to as “our five-person quartet.” The ensemble consisted of Paul Hunt and Lindsay McMurray on trombones, Aaron Jones, Jon Solomon and Richard Hoffman on trumpets, as four of the five players taking took turns.
The three pieces performed by this group were very different in style and character. Yet, the performers played extremely well together. Their timing and sense of balance were impeccable. They began with a very baroque sounding like Fugue by Mozart, arranged by Robert King. A contemporary piece by Brass Quartet by Robert Sanders followed.
Finally, they concluded with a rousing and very fun arrangement of the Fats Waller and Harry Brooks tune, “Ain’t Misbehavin.'”
The evening was filled with a wide range of music and the performances by some of CSUN’s finest musicians were stunning.
A follow-up concert by the Chamber Music II, is scheduled at the Music Recital Hall, on Nov. 16 at 8:00 p.m..
Daniel O’Brien can be reached at email@example.com.