Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Cute Is Your Scherzo? Or, Can You Take the Bull By the Violin?

If you like favorites of the violin sonata repertoire, you couldn’t do better than two selections to be performed by violinist Cindy Moyer and pianist Daniela Mineva, in concert at HSU on Saturday, February 13.

But if you particularly like the more modern and offbeat, there are also two selections for you—and your children. (Though that involves a lot of bull.)

And if you enjoy both approaches, the evening is complete.

Beethoven’s Sonata in F Major—known as the “Spring Sonata”—is probably his best-known violin and piano sonata, according to Cindy Moyer. “It’s a sunny, cheerful piece that includes what is arguably the cutest Scherzo movement ever written.”

(For the uninitiated, a scherzo is lively, playful movement, performed quickly in triple meter time.)

The other classic—the Sonata in C Minor by Edvard Grieg—has “dramatic and impassioned moments, contrasting with lyrical sections,” Moyer said. “It’s easy to understand, and enjoyable to listen to.”

Between Beethoven and Grieg on the program are two more modern pieces. Four Nocturnes by contemporary American composer George Crumb, who “uses a variety of unusual instrumental techniques to portray the sounds and feelings of nighttime.” While Moyer will occasionally be tapping on the violin as well as playing it, pianist Daniela Mineva will be busy “reaching inside the piano to pluck the strings, or brush the strings with a percussionist’s brush. The effects are very different, and interesting to experience.”

Mineva will take a break, and narrator Kevin Sharkey will join Moyer for a musical version of a children’s tale, Ferdinand. This story of a gentle bull by Munro Leaf was the basis of a Disney animated short that won the Academy Award in 1938. It was set to music for solo violin and narrator by 20th century British composer Alan Ridout. “You hear the mooing of his mother, the playful antics of his fellow young bulls, the procession of the matadors, and more,” Moyer promises. It’s a treat for children, as well as the child within.

Cindy Moyer is Associate Professor of Music at HSU. She has performed on violin with such ensembles as the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony and Mendocino Music Festival orchestra, as well as locally with the Eureka and Humboldt symphonies and the Symphony of the Redwoods.

Daniela Mineva is in her first year as Assistant Professor of Music at HSU. As a pianist she has won numerous international competitions, and played major venues in the U.S. and Europe. Both Mineva and Moyer studied for a time at the Eastman School of Music.

Narrator Kevin Shockey has taught voice at HSU and has acted in local theatre productions, including Humboldt Light Opera’s “Titanic” and “Little Women.”

Violinist Cindy Moyer, pianist Daniela Mineva and narrator Kevin Shockey perform in a Faculty Artists Series concert on Saturday, February 13 at 8 PM in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $8/$3 students, seniors and children from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door.

Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon, Humboldt State Now.

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