Last week, the Noteworthy Concert Series featured Paul York on the cello and Dror Biram on the piano in “Sonatas for Cello and Piano.” Both men have award–decorated backgrounds and have played with many names recognizable to people who aren’t familiar with classical music (Yo-Yo Ma, for instance). They both currently teach their respective instruments at the University of Louisville.
I can honestly say that this was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. As someone who has no musical capabilities whatsoever, I was able to tell that these were two extremely talented musicians, and I felt lucky to be able to enjoy their music. The pieces ranged from haunting to hopeful, and were from three pieces of three movements each (Debussy’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano,” Knehans’ “Lumen for Cello and Piano” and Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 3 for Piano and Cello, Opus.69”).
It was easy to lose myself in the music, and I actually got goosebumps during several points in the concert. It was interesting to see the range of the two instruments showcased by this music and wonderful to see two such talented musicians show off a little and obviously enjoy themselves doing so.
The balance between the two instruments was well handled, and it seemed that the two musicians worked well together. It was immediately evident that both men enjoyed their work (the cellist broke several bowstrings during the performance), and as a listener I could feel the emotion that each put into his work.
Concert-goers were advised at the beginning of the concert to remain quiet so that they could hear the subtleties, and, true to promise, the musicians delivered with some of the most powerful moments in a piece coming from a single note hanging quietly in the air for several long moments.
While I understand that some may not have enjoyed it because of its classical genre, I thought the concert a delightful and enriching experience. It saddens me that so few students attend the Noteworthy concerts, as they showcase talented musicians. The concert series is not only a way to get Nexus credit (everybody wants to graduate right?), but a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours in a way that broadens your mind and gives you a break from the endless cycle of tests and papers that occurs at this point in the semester, and I would encourage all to attend.