The Merciad

The pizzicato was plucking perfect

Amber Matha, Staff writer

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“It is winter isn’t it?” Joseph Kneer, D.M.A., asked the audience after the first piece of the Faculty Recital on Thursday, Feb. 18.
That man is quite observational isn’t he? This was the second music recital I attended last week, despite being extremely tired from a long day of class and lab.
The opening piece, “Suite in the Old Style” by Alfred Schnittke was fun and I loved the second movement, the ballet. I learned lots of fun and potentially useless facts at this recital, such as the fact that the first two movements of Schnittke’s work is in a film about a dentist.
The fun facts continued with the second piece, “Sonata No. 4” by Charles Ives, when I learned that Ives was originally an insurance salesman and that his dad’s name was George.
Like in Roy’s concert, I preferred the two “allegro” movements. Kneer informed the audience that the second movement would contain hints of “Jesus Loves Me.” I did not catch any hints of it, but maybe I don’t know the original tune.
The third piece was for solo violin and was composed by Eugene Ysaye, a “mammoth man” according to Kneer. There were three movements. The first sounded, as the name suggested, like the music of a folk dance, in this case the dance was German. The second movement is where the plucking or “pizzicato” started.
I played violin briefly in middle school (the teacher who attempted to teach me was in attendance as well and talked to me before the recital which was mildly awkward).
Due to my ineptitude with music, I feel that plucking the strings of the violin, especially when holding the bow, is a very difficult task. Kneer nailed it (at least to my untrained ear). The final movement had a very fast beginning and I don’t even want to imagine what the sheet music for that part looked like.
Nathan Hess, D.M.A., took over the talking portion of the recital after the intermission to explain the fourth selection he and Kneer were to play. Again with the fun facts, I learned that Sergei Prokofiev was old when he wrote the piece (because presumably composers are young when they come up with anything of quality).
The first movement of Prokofiev’s piece had hints of the movie Jaws throughout. I noticed it first when Kneer would start on the violin, “da dun.” Later I could hear the piano making that same sound, “da dun da dun da dun.” Like Jaws coming in to snatch a swimmer out of the water.
The third movement, as Hess had explained was full of “beautiful colors.” I myself caught hints of purple, blue and maybe some green too.
Not many students fell asleep from what I could see, so the recital seemed to keep everyone interested. I kept myself amused by taking ridiculous notes for this article that the people around me probably found quite amusing.
There was no yoga that evening, unlike the Roy recital, but despite that, I had an enjoyable time and cannot wait for the next recital.

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The pizzicato was plucking perfect