Meadows Offers Something to Everyone

The beginning of the school year is always a flourishing time at Meadows, and the past several weeks have been no exception. Several big events have occurred: the Meadows Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert, the first Opera Free For All, SMU Theatre’s sold-out production of Hamlet, and the first Brown Bag Dance performance, which amazed and troubled even more than usual. Overall, there has been something to satisfy every artistic desire, and that is only going to continue. Deserving special attention is the Faculty Chamber Music Recital, which took place on September 14th and featured Liudmila Georgievskaya (piano faculty and director of accompanying), Matt Albert (artist-in-residence and chamber music coordinator), Paul Garner (clarinetist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra), and Francesco Mastromatteo (SMU alum and famed cellist). The program was Messiaen’s Fantasy for Violin and Piano and wellknown Quartet for the End of Time. Georgievskaya proved, as always, to be a sensitive, energetic, and overall attentive collaborator, and Garner was simply a joy to listen to in a chamber setting, where his absurd ability to produce the very softest sounds delighted everyone present. Mastromatteo was also in fine form, especially during his solo movement with piano accompaniment in the quartet—in many ways the emotional center of the piece. The real message of the concert, though, was go and see Matt Albert whenever and wherever you can. In addition to being a keen and supportive teacher and chamber music coach, he is a supremely skilled performer and simply does not disappoint. On the whole, this is how chamber music should be done—with confidence, unity, and joy—and it will certainly turn out to be one of the campus musical highlights of the semester. Also deserving note are some recent student recitals. Very recently, Darío Martín, a graduate student of Joaquin Achúcarro, gave a recital in Caruth Auditorium that, as usual, was superb. I was only able to hear the first piece, Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109 in E Major, but that was enough to justify this review. Martín plays with a consistent level of maturity which exceeds that of many of his graduate student peers (who are all very accomplished as it is), and nowhere was his unique and mature sensibility on better display than in the Beethoven. The opening movement rolled just as it should, the second was stormy and intense but always controlled, and the third opened with a gorgeous rendering of its complex and tender theme, ending with a brilliant dispatching of the difficult trilled passages. Throughout, Martín’s voicing was conspicuously good, and he produced just the subtle and powerful performance that this piece deserves. Isaiah Free Pennington, a sophomore student of Andrés Díaz, also played a notable recital in recent weeks. The program was the first three cello suites by J.S. Bach, and Pennington brought an often tender, confident, and youthful energy to the music which made for quite the moving performance. His balanced, adaptable, pleasantly raspy tone emphasized the complexity and scope of Bach’s suites, and the night was truly an inspiration for all of us undergraduates (myself included) to get out there and play recitals, even if we’re not required or expected to. The one disappointment about both of these student recitals was their poor attendance. We, as students of this university (not just as Meadows students) have an obligation to ourselves and our friends and colleagues to make a serious effort to attend as many student performances and shows as we can. To miss or ignore the talent of those around us because of laziness or some other excuse is a great shame, and it will hurt us just as it hurts the performers.


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