One Semester, Five Unforgettable Concerts
Bria Yazic '13 looks back on the first semester in HCol 095, Music in Live Performance
In this semester's Music in Live Performance class, students were able to attend up to six live musical performances right in the University of Vermont's Recital Hall for class credit. The renowned artists ranged from classical pianists to contemporary guitar players; they all had clear personalities that shone through their performances and each planted a lasting memory in students' minds. Marta Gomez performed on September 25th, the Van Cliburn Silver Medalist on October 2nd, Trio Settecento on October 9th, a Van Cliburn Finalist on November 6th, and Peter Mulvey (featuring Natalia Zukerman) on November 20th.
The pre-concert talks allowed for artists to teach the students about culture and music history. Trio Settecento--a Baroque trio consisting of a harpsichord player, a violinist, and a cellist--spoke in detail about the origins of Baroque instrument models, particularly that of their own violin, which was made in the 18th century and still bears its original tarnish. The harpsichord, by contrast, was built very recently by a man currently living in Lincoln, Vermont; he came to the show to witness the debut performance of his instrument. They performed a number of 17th and 18th century pieces, including sonatas by Corelli, Locatelli, and Veracini; I was particularly fond of Locatelli's Sonata in D minor.
Peter Mulvey and Natalia Zukerman (contemporary folk singer/songwriters and one of the class' favorites) spoke about their travels and inspirations for song writing. Peter's newest CD of twelve is entitled "Letters from a Flying Machine," and includes recitations of letters he wrote while in airplanes for his nieces and nephews when they grow older. One letter includes a conversation with Vlad, an astrophysicist from the Czech Republic who explains to him his theory as to why no intelligent civilizations across the universe have ever contacted humans. His songs are soft and calming, whether comical, poignant, or a combination: "The old man has got no coat for when it snows/ and that has got no this, and this has got no that/and the emperor has got no clothes/but those kids down in the square are dancing like they just don't care/maybe they know it all washes away in the morning rain."
While students may be deterred from taking the Music in Live Performance elective due to the fact that it devours five of their precious Fridays evenings, I strongly recommend that all Honors College students partake in this class. I am now more adept at differentiating between Classical composers than ever before, and was introduced to a number of beautifully talented musicians with warm and friendly dispositions to match. Each performance I saw this semester was an unrepeatable experience, was exceedingly enjoyable, and made me grow both as a musician and as a student.