Famous Violinist Delight with Haunting Melodies

EMU music faculty Anne Waltner, pianist, was honored to share a stage with acclaimed violinist Amelia Chan, concertmaster of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The duo performed at 7:30 p.m. last Saturday in Martin Chapel.

Because of traveling troubles, Chan was unable to come on Wednesday as planned, but managed to arrive Friday evening, giving them time for a short practice together before the performance after being, as Chan put it, “robbed of a lot of rehearsal time.”

The program opened with Chan and Waltner playing Fritz Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro, a short, energy-filled piece published in 1905 for violin and piano. Violinist and part-time violin teacher Meg Miller, 2013 EMU alumna, said that this was her favorite piece.

The second piece was Gabriel Faure’s Sonata in A major, Op. 13. It was composed in the 1870s, linking the end of the romantic period of music with the beginning of the modern period. Because of this, most of it featured a calmer, melodic style. However, the third movement, a scherzo called “Allegro vivo,” was particularly attention- catching, both beginning and ending with fast, light notes played by the violin.

After the intermission, Chan performed Eugene Ysaye’s Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 27, No. 2, composed in the style of early twentieth century music. She played the difficult piece masterfully, with tuned double-stops and haunting melodies.

The last piece was Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in D major, Op. 94, written in 1943 with a classical design. Joan Griffing, EMUMusic Dept. chair, said that she especially enjoyed this piece. “The work is full of soaring melodies, personality, grit, and humor. It’s very Russian—just what I was in the mood for, because the Olympics are taking place in Sochi, Russia right now.”

Overall, the audience considered the concert a joy both to watch and listen to. Both Waltner and Chan played with great feeling and enthusiasm that was apparent not only through their movements, but also through their sound.

Sophomore Valerie Meza-Cooper said that “just by listening to them, even without looking at their performance, I could picture everything.” Chan further interested the audience by reading her music from an iPad on her music stand and then pressing a pedal with her foot to turn the pages.

This being Waltner’s first year here at EMU, Meg Miller said, “It’s great to hear Anne perform. She and the violinist make a great pair.” Senior Katie Miller added, “It was evident that both Anne and Amelia understood the char- acter of the music at every moment. Their interpretation was captivating.”

Waltner also shared about what it was like to work with someone like Chan. “Conceptually, I understand that tennis players don’t improve by playing opponents at or below their level. The same is true for musicians. I’m a better musician for having worked with Amelia.”

According to Waltner, It was truly a special occasion for EMU to have a violinist like Chan come to play in a faculty recital.

Waltner told the audience, “I can’t overstate what an honor it is for such an amazing caliber musician to grace our stage.”

-Jacinda Stahly, Copy Editor


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