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The looming prospect of performing onstage for friends and family is sometimes enough to floor even the best of us, but juniors Crystal Brockman and Alexandra Pacchione performed with the confidence of two seasoned spotlight veterans.
The two music students performed in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall in the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center on Saturday Feb. 7, 2014. Pacchione performed on clarinet and alto saxophone and Brockman performed on the saxophone.
Students studying in the music department are required to perform a recital as a capstone project for their education here at Millersvile University.
Pacchione performed with the aid of Dr. Xun Pan on piano, Richard Ferrarelli on clarinet, and Hayden Delia on saxophone.
Her recital began with a piece by Jules Mouquet titled “Solo de Concours,” written in 1902 and featuring a clarinet solo. The piece begins slowly, but builds to become a very showy piece, unafraid to showcase the talents of the performer.
Pacchione’s next number was “Concerto No. 11 for Clarinet in B-flat” by Carl Stamitz. Stamitz, throughout his life, wrote so many pieces that, if composers were ranked by number of works published, he would come in third behind Handel and Hadyn. Of the 60 solo concertos Stamitz wrote, 11 of them were written for clarinet. This particular piece is an arrangement of his viola d’amore concerto. It features three distinct movements: I. Allegro, II. Aria and III. Rondo alla Scherzo.
Pacchione performed “The Cockfight” next, a piece written by Ernst Bacon, an American composer, pianist and conductor who wrote numerous symphonies, piano concertos, chamber music, ballets and songs, the lattermost of which gained him the most recognition. “The Cockfight” features two dueling clarinets, which are meant to symbolize a fight between two roosters. The song escalates until one rooster dies, leaving the other to emerge victorious.
The fourth piece, written by Nigel Wood, is titled “Jab Jab” and is meant to emulate the Caribbean tradition known as J’ouvert. J’ouvert is a party during which the participants are painted and dance around like “jabs” or devils. Because of the high energy of the piece, it requires a high amount of blend between the performers.
Fifthly, Pacchione performed “Introduction, Dance, and Furioso” by Henry Couf, an American clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, music storeowner, and manufacturer of musical instruments. His piece “Introduction, Dance, and Furioso” is unaccompanied, allowing for some artistic license on behalf of the performer.
The next to last piece of the recital was “Ballade,” written by Alfred Reed, one of America’s most prolific and performed composers. The work was written with a single, main theme, with two smaller accompanying motifs. It morphs and blends as the piece unfurls, finishing with a restatement of the main theme.
The final piece of the recital was Darius Milhaud’s “Scaramouche,” one of his most popular pieces. It was originally written for the piano to be played with four hands, but Milhaud chose to transcribe the piece for saxophone and orchestra, with three movements: I. Vif, II. Modéré and III. Brazileira. “Vif,” meaning “bright” is a very lively, circus-esque melody. The second movement, “Modéré,” is a slower movement that switches back and forth from compound to simplistic meter. The final movement, “Brazileira,” is a lively samba which grows and changes before returning to the original samba theme.