Show 209 Listening Guide

This week’s show was taped at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, Hawaii on Wednesday January 20, 2010. We asked our performers to tell us about the music they performed on the show:

Daniel Tekunoff, 17, Guitar
I. Allegretto from Sonatina by Lennox Berkeley

The “Allegro” is a great piece of music that reminds me of the “Jurassic Park” theme. In fact, when I play this piece, sometimes I try to envision an orchestra playing it, and then transfer that idea into my playing…I find that the diverse techniques Berkeley used in this piece are a great representation of what I do as a classical guitarist.

Alexander Hersh, 16, Cello
III. Rasch und mit Feuer from Fantasy Pieces for Cello & Piano by Robert Schumann

I think the piece is great and captures the beauty of Schumann’s music. I love the almost schizophrenic nature of the piece. It mixes beauty and fire.

I’ve played it quite a bit and it was a piece, when I originally learned it, I had to ask if I could play it and I remember my teacher made me finish Brahms e minor first so this piece was I guess, a goal for me. The hardest thing about it is making it sound decent.

Hailey Markman, 17, Soprano
“Monica’s Waltz” from The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti
Learn more about The Medium
See Monica’s Waltz staged

This piece, Monica’s Waltz, is definitely my favorite one to perform. The aria is very dramatic, and the mood changes drastically at the drop of a hat. In my opinion, the best part of performing is the interpretation of a song, and this piece allows me to really immerse myself in so many different emotions and make the audience feel those emotions.

The most important thing to get across to the audience is to make the transition from each motion clear. This piece shifts emotionally from light and happy to angry to desperate, to name a few, so making the audience feel and understand each emotion is difficult, but very rewarding when they respond at the close of the piece.

Hannah Cho, 15, Violin
Sonatensatz in C minor, Scherzo, Op. posth. by Johannes Brahms

It is such a virtuosic piece and the first time I heard it, I was blown away by how much energy the performer gives off to the audience. Before I play the piece, I think about how young Brahms composed the piece with a lot of passion and ambition. The piece itself has a story behind it, as the Scherzo is part of a Sonata written for Joseph Joachim by Brahms, Schumann, and Schumann’s student Albert Dietrich. The Sonata is called the “FAE” sonata for Joachim’s personal motto “frei aber einsam” – free but lonely. After the first performance of the sonata, the composition was almost forgotten until Schumann took his two movements and wrote his third violin sonata. The first movement, written by Brahms, was so favored by Joachim that he decided to publish the Scherzo separately as a Sonatensatz! My favorite part of the piece would be the trio in the middle section since the beauty comes from the tension underneath the lyrical melodies.

When people hear the word “scherzo,” they think of a lively piece that is like a fun and light dance, but the unique aspect of the Brahms Scherzo is that it has a heavier and darker theme. The hard thing to nail is having to convey to the audience the feeling of moving forward and almost pushing ahead, while one is actually holding back and staying in strict rhythm.