While the past few weeks’ senior theater and music recitals have seen excellent attendance and gained audience approval, this weekend’s is guaranteed to have the crowd out of their seats.
On Saturday evening, Josh Tyson, a senior music education major from Harrisonburg, Va., will begin his recital by performing five short pieces on the Opus 41 organ at the rear of Rieth Recital Hall. Once these pieces are over, the audience will reorient themselves to face the Rieth stage for the second half of the recital.
The second half features Tyson on piano and will begin with a Beethoven sonata, which Tyson said music students will recognize as a rebellion against the traditional form.
The program will also include selections from composer Johannes Brahms. Tyson noted that Brahms dedicated these pieces to the love of his life – a woman named Clara, with whom he never shared true happiness.
“The pieces I am performing for the recital were published in 1893 and were among the last works completed by Brahms,” Tyson said. “The three pieces on the recital come from a set of six that Brahms dedicated to Clara. I believe that each of these pieces characterizes an emotion Brahms felt regarding the relationship [including] … tenderness, frustration and mourning that they will never share happiness together.”
Another of the evening’s highlights includes a 20th century work by Henry Cowell, “The Banshee,” which Tyson promised will showcase ways of playing the piano rarely seen in performance.
In an attempt to break ties with the musical past, Cowell became part of a group of early 20th century composers who explored new ways of playing old instruments. One result of this exploration is the piece Tyson will perform.
According to Tyson, a performer must “manipulate directly the strings of the piano. The resulting sound [is] unlike anything that had been heard before when Cowell wrote this piece in 1925 and is still rather unusual sounding to us today. Words cannot completely describe the sound quality that results.”
As usual, admission to senior recitals is free and no tickets are required. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Rieth Recital Hall and last approximately one hour.