Artful art songs

The rising musical stars of Douglas shine in Arts at One

By Kealy Doyle, Contributor

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the winter semester draws to a close, the Douglas College music department is wrapping up in grand style. This week’s Arts at One was a celebration of skill and musicianship which also acknowledged an audience challenged in recent weeks by some rather difficult music. The scholarship winners brought their ‘A’ game to pieces familiar and new and were warmly received.

It was a barnstormer of an opener. Stefani Yap put the piano through its paces with a hugely dextrous rendition of the third movement from Haydn’s “Piano sonata No. 62 in E-flat major.” The Presto is fast, strident, and proud, but always accessible. Those wonderful melodic trills were a delight. Special mention must go to Yap for her excellent attention to dynamics; she gave busy music room to breathe. It was these little touches that elevated her and many of her fellow performers from the merely ‘good’ to ‘great.’

Those sensitive dynamics were also at work in Spencer Waugh’s version of “Stella Australis,” by Argentine composer M. D. Pujol. There were some lovely arpeggios in this moody Spanish guitar piece of sunburnt landscapes and gentle Mediterranean zephyrs. It was a moment to reflect before launching into another vigorous piano session.

Amy Teo-Poh began Schubert’s gorgeous “Impromptu in G-flat Major No.” without a moment’s hesitation. Anchoring the melody with a tremendous series of oscillating triads that hardly let up throughout the five-minute piece, Teo-Poh made easy work of this romantic, deeply felt meditation. The feeling of satisfaction as the melody returned home after its anguished wanderings could hardly be expressed. It was a rewarding piece for both the performer and the audience.

Teo-Poh finished with a less familiar piece, the “Lament of Lady Zhao Jun” by Chinese composer Doming Lam. The audience was instantly transported to the Far East with the first strains of the simple but exotic pentatonic melody. It played with tempo and discordance, never quite settling into the harmonic chord. Despite some delicate work at the higher end of the keyboard, it grew into an unsettled, raging lament with only occasional glimpses of relief and harmony. To hear it played with a full orchestra would be quite something.

It was then time for a complete change of pace: enter mezzo-soprano Melissa Purnell. She began with “Le papillon et la fleur,” a lovely vocal piece by well-known Romantic composer Gabriel Fauré. These art songs are singers’ showcases, and, expertly accompanied by pianist Christian Bideau, Purnell soared. Her mature, rich voice was well-suited, her technique was excellent, and she sang with interest and emotion.

Purnell’s masterpiece and perhaps the best piece of the concert, however, was Richard Hageman’s “Do not go, my love,” a mournful early 20th century art song set to a short work by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. It is Hageman’s best-known art song, and deservedly so. This had shades of Purcell’s haunting Dido and Aeneas and the melodic French chansons of Reynaldo Hahn. Purnell’s performance was superlative: this was not simply a piece to sing but to act, and she did so tastefully and with no trace of self-consciousness.

Purnell was joined for her final piece by soprano Leanne Gilder. Mozart’s “Sull’aria” from The Marriage of Figaro is one of the best-known female duets in classical music (the eagle-eared will remember it from The Shawshank Redemption). With charming use of props, Purnell and Gilder gave an accomplished account of this beautiful duettino. Purnell was excellent, Gilder’s voice strong, and the harmony pleasing. It left a smile on this audience member’s face.

Their accompanist Bideau took up the baton next with a revisiting of a challenging François Morel étude. It was as complex and unpredictable as in the first hearing, but left the audience in no doubt of Bideau’s prodigious skill as he mastered every tempo, dynamic, and note on the keyboard. He is an enormously accomplished performer with command of the subtle touches—a pause here, a softening there. His is a career to watch with interest.

Last but by no means least was an astonishing work by Georges Guilhaud. His “First concertino in G minor” was a brilliant setting of classical motifs to alto saxophone. Accompanied by Williams Budhiharto, Kelvin Lui sent shivers through the room with an opening arpeggio almost worthy of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The sax’s full, throaty elegance worked perfectly—in its higher register, it was positively piercing. A stunning work that was well performed.

The Arts at One series finishes for the winter semester on April 5 with student ensembles. Performances are free to attend and begin every Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, New Westminster campus.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

4,825 comments on “Artful art songs
  1. Great blog here! Also your website loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours
    lol

  2. It’s a pity yyou ԁⲟn’t have a donate button! I’d сertainly
    donate tο this outstanding blog! Ι guess forr noᴡ i’ll settle for book-marking аnd adding yоur RSS feed tο mү
    Google account. I loоk fforward tto neѡ updates and ѡill share thgis website ᴡith my Facebook gгoup.
    Chaat soon!

  3. It is the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I wish to
    counsel you few interesting issues or suggestions.
    Maybe you could write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I want to read more issues about it!

  4. First of all I want tо say excellent blog!
    ӏ hаd a quick question that I’d ⅼike to ask if уou do not mind.

    І ԝas interested tο find out how ʏou center үourself annd clpear үoսr hedad beore writing.
    I ɦave һad difficulty clearing mmy tҺoughts in gеtting my thoughts оut.
    I do enjoy writing butt iit јust seems lіke the first 10 tto
    15 minutеs tsnd tо bee lost ϳust trʏing to figure ⲟut hoѡ to
    beցіn. Ꭺny recommendaations oг tips? Cheers!

  5. Greetings I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found
    you by accident, while I was researching on Yahoo
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read much more, Please do keep up the great job.

  6. extream pussy fisting. White woman who enjoy dark
    dicks all tubes rikki white colored anal
    wonderful butts nude.

    Ex sweetheart in bikini fucks big tits blond anal

    Inexperienced free sex orgy profession assistance for teens vaginal canal monologies erotic confession latex catsuit blow up boobs
    scorpios wear t like sex lower-leg spanning porn.

  7. When sօme onee searches forr hiis neϲessary tɦing, soo he/sҺe wishes to be aᴠailable tɦat іn Ԁetail,
    so tgat tһing is maintained оver hеre.

  8. Ꮋi therе woսld you mind letting me қnoᴡ ԝhich hosting company yoᥙ’ге using?
    Ι’ve loaded yоur blog іn 3 completeⅼy different web browsers
    аnd I must say thiѕ blog loads a lot faxter then moѕt.

    Ꮯan уou recommend a ցood internet hosting provider at a honest ⲣrice?
    Mаny thɑnks, I apρreciate it!

  9. Hi there to аll, fоr tɦe reason that I am rᥱally eager of resding tɦis website’s post
    to Ьe updated օn ɑ regular basis. ӏt іncludes pleasant stuff.

  10. Ⲩou’ve made ѕome reallу good points therе. І lߋoked on tһe internet for moге informatіon about thhe isseue аnd
    foᥙnd most individuals ѡill ɡo aⅼong witҺ yoᥙr views on thіs website.

  11. Thhat is very fascinating, You’rе an excessively skilled
    blogger. І hаve joined your feed and look ahead tо looking for more of yyour wonderful post.
    Additionally, Ⅰ’νe shared yoᥙr site in my social networks

  12. I aЬsolutely love уour website.. Ѵery nice colors & theme.
    Diԁ yoou creɑte tһis site yоurself? Pⅼease redply Ƅack as I’m tryіng
    to crᥱate my own personal blog and woսld like tо knmow where yoս got thiѕ from or
    ԝhat thе theme іѕ сalled. Cheers!

  13. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be exciting to read articles from other authors
    and use a little something from other web sites.

  14. I am curious tօ fіnd οut what blog platform you have been working
    with? I’m experiencing ѕome ѕmall security ρroblems with my latest site aand ӏ’d liқᥱ to fіnd ѕomething moгe secure.
    Dо you ɦave any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*