SVSU celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution by hosting a Russian Chamber Recital.
On Friday, Oct. 20, three musicians performed pieces that Vladimir Lenin had denounced as unpatriotic and against his propagandistic messages.
MiJung Trepanier is an adjunct pianist at SVSU. She has performed as a soloist in Korea and the United States, collaborating with many artists along the way.
Two such artists are Jamie Fiste, an adjunct cellist professor at Central Michigan University, and Takeshi Abo, an adjunct violin and viola professor at Albion College and a guest professor at Alma College.
Each member of the trio has played their respective instrument since they were children.
“The piano is a very, very honest instrument,” Trepanier said. “When I was very young, I thought the piano was the bridge for me to connect myself with the outside world. It is very philosophical, but I realized that I felt that I could communicate with others without misunderstanding. That was around sixth grade.”
Although finding rehearsal times was quite difficult, the trio was glad that they were able to honor the Russian Revolution’s anniversary with the recital. Many students came to support their professors.
“(Trepanier) is my piano instructor,” sophomore music major Vincent Frank said.
Students from other schools traveled to SVSU for their professors as well.
“The cellist in this performance is my instructor at Central,” Andrew Harling said. “The main reason I came was for the piano trio, but the cellist sonata was also my favorite.”
The first piece of the evening was Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, op. 941.” This proved to be a favorite with many audience members, especially its second movement titled “Sherzo: Presto.”
“‘The Sherzo’ from the first piece they played was crazy,” Frank said. “It was just wild. I like when it sounded like airplanes. At some point, (the strings) were the accompaniment. So I thought that was interesting.”
Abo’s violin lines often featured intense, chromatic and bouncing lines that were often in conflict with Trepanier’s bass and counter-melody lines. Patriotic themes were passed effortlessly between the two musicians.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, op. 40” was the second piece. Fiste’s cello filled the auditorium with a broad, deep sound that resonated even through mesopianos and plucked lines.
The concert ended with another Shostakovich piece titled “Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, op. 67.” Trepanier used her piano to communicate with her fellow musicians during the piece. Together, they built layers of depth and meaning, letting their voices blend together to the point where it seemed impossible to separate them back into their individual roles.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to hear music they normally would not.
“I’ve never heard Russian music before, so this has been something different,” junior music major Dakota Finley said. “I feel like I’m picking at my nails. It’s suspenseful and very out of the norm than what I’m used to listening to. I’m glad I came.”