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Claremont recital evokes emotion

Rachel Huang and Tatiana Thibodeaux performed a violin and piano duet for a faculty recital Saturday at the Boone Recital Hall in Scripps College in Claremont. With Huang on violin and Thibodeaux on piano, the two performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata in A Major,” a piece dedicated by Beethoven to Rodolphe Kreutzer, who was widely considered the finest violinist of his day. / photo by Christopher Guzman

Rachel Huang and Tatiana Thibodeaux performed a violin and piano duet for a faculty recital Saturday at the Boone Recital Hall in Scripps College in Claremont. With Huang on violin and Thibodeaux on piano, the two performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata in A Major,” a piece dedicated by Beethoven to Rodolphe Kreutzer, who was widely considered the finest violinist of his day. / photo by Christopher Guzman

Rachel Smith
Staff Writer

The extraordinary classical sounds of Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergei Prokofiev were alive and thriving in Claremont.

The Boone Recital Hall at Scripps College Saturday evening was the place to witness the passionate performance of Rachel V. Huang, Scripps College faculty member and violinist and Tatiana Thibodeaux, concert pianist.

“The music was so filled with emotion and a sense of life,” Linda Reich, audience member said.

The audience was mesmerized by the music that was resonating through the intimate venue. The beautiful sounds of the two talented musicians captured the audience and whisked them away on an electrifying classical music voyage.

“In a small group, as a player you have the most intense and fulfilling relationship with the other person,” Huang said. “It’s very emotional and very intense.”

The bond between the two musicians was evident in the performance. Each performer displayed an impressive sense of togetherness by the way each instrument flowed so splendidly together. This gave the act further depth.

The composition selections were a main ingredient in the success of the musical experience that evening.

“Music unites you and the person you play with in a magical way,” Thibodeaux said.

The two musicians were in sync musically and mentally. The women independently selected the same musical compositions they felt were crucial to play for their first duo performance.

“Beethoven is the most special and emotional piece between a violin and piano,” Huang said.

At times, Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” was soft and peaceful; then in an instant, it would become energetic and happy.

The instruments almost seemed as if they were communicated with each other. The sounds that evening were like a dynamic lecture of musical proportions.

“One of the best duos I’ve ever heard,” said Fred Thibodeaux, proud husband.

The piece composed by Prokofiev took listeners on an uplifting musical journey. The powerful feel of the music even aroused one young audience member from his head-bobbing catnap.

“We were striving for something to spark a relationship with the audience,” Thibodeaux said.

The musicians had about two and a half months to prepare for the recital, Huang said.

She also said most professional performers only rehearse two to four times before a show. The additional time the two spent together was evident in the performance and music that was heard Saturday evening.

“The violin player was absolutely amazing, she really gave a great performance,” Reich said.

Huang has been playing since she was 6. Her parents sought out the best teachers for their young daughter.

“I knew I was going to be a violinist,” Huang said.

The Russian born Thibodeaux has also been playing piano since around the age of 5. She moved to the United States in 1992 and attended the world-renowned Juilliard in New York.

“The pianist was excellent,” Dan Saber, audience member said.

The audience was incapable of letting the two musicians leave the stage as the rounds of applause seemed endless.
For more information about additional Tatiana Thibodeaux performances visit tatianathibodeaux.com.

To contact Huang, call 909-607-3266.

Rachel Smith can be reached at rachel.smith@laverne.edu.

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