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

2,430 comments on “Artful art songs
  1. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate
    your content. This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to take a note of your website and keep checking
    for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed

  2. Supported methadone individuals that are on an adequate dosage of methadone (not too high and
    not too reduced, and taken on a daily basis as recommended) are identical from the rest of culture.

    Lots of people consider methadone to be a life saver, and even as long as the dosage is not expensive as well
    as creating the person to feel drowsy, taking
    it creates customers to really feel typical rather than blissful, ruined,
    tranquilized or high.

  3. If it’s for obsession, Federal regulation pressures you to visit a center to ensure that a state-sanctioned operation could take your cash
    upwards of 500 monthly, as opposed to the dope dealer down the street.

  4. Indian media has reached the pinnacle of performance and will continue to reach new heights.

    This empowers people to become responsible citizens who can give relevant and informative news to others,
    as well as being more aware to their environment.
    This process ‘increases’ both speed and just as importantly exposure.

  5. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you
    require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would bee really appreciated!

  6. While systems of a few years ago depended solely on landlines to communicate with
    the central surveillance station, today’s security systems come in 3 tastes” – landline, broadband and cellular.

  7. I’m extremely impressed with your writing abilities and also with the
    structure to your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your self?

    Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s
    rare to look a great blog like this one nowadays..

  8. It’s unfair that every other location of the city is expected to have methadone clinics while
    Northeast Philly remains above it all specifically when a few of their locals have to endeavor to other areas for their methadone treatment.

  9. So for in order for the oxy they were going to hive me to function, I needed to go off off sub for
    7 days, I think I made it 5. Suboxone has a lengthy trailed or protracted blog post intense withdrawal signs and symptoms much like methadone.

  10. The writers hypothesize that the poorer results among opioid-misusing participants may reflect
    much less acknowledgment of the seriousness
    of their problem, leading to less desire to adhere to treatment and even recommendations for proceeding treatment.

  11. Just what we are finishing with methadone in our correctional
    system is we are systematically taking individuals off it,” stated research study lead writer Dr. Josiah Rich, professor of medication at Brown College.

  12. At the appropriate dose, methadone loads these opioid receptors as well
    as soothes the demand for one more opioid substance

  13. We define and describe the requirement for as well as how you can mount different septic
    tank styles for problem sites where the need is to conserve
    water or where it is tough to throw away septic

  14. As Williams struggled to mesmerize in Huntington, the
    clinic pushed its earnings up nearly 8 percent to $5 million in 2010 – while costs raised
    less compared to 1 percent to $2.6 million, baseding on state regulatory documents.

  15. Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your
    site and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I success
    you get right of entry to persistently quickly.

  16. Ⲏeya just waznteԀ to give yyoս a brief heads uρ and let yyou
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loadіng properly.
    I’m not ѕurе why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two differentt internet brⲟwserеs and
    bߋth show the sɑwme reѕuⅼts.

  17. Hellо therе Ӏ am so delighted І found youyr webpage, Ⅰ really foᥙnd you bу accident, whilᥱ I ԝas searching on Aol
    for sometһing elsе, Nonethᥱⅼess I amm here noww ɑnd woulԁ just ⅼike to say cheers for a fantastgic post annd ɑ aⅼl rߋᥙnd exciting blolg (ӏ also love thᥱ theme/design),
    I don’t ɦave time tо browsxe iit alⅼ at the minute but I havee bookmarked it and alsо inclued
    yoսr RSS feeds, ѕo whеn I havᥱ time I will be back to read much mߋre, Please do keep uр the
    excellent wοrk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.