Joseph Hauer ‘14 is one of our 2013 Concerto Competition winners, and we sat down with him to learn more about how close to his piece he’s become over the course of learning and performing it, especially as he prepares for his live-streamed performance with the Oberlin Orchestra this Saturday night.
We’ve asked all our concerto winners to describe their piece using three words, and Joseph picked these:
It is difficult to have an entirely impersonal performance, since musicians spend so much time alone with their music - analyzing, interpreting and realizing both one’s own ideas and the composer’s intentions. My goal, however is the opposite - to make the piece truly my own. Nikolai Lugansky feels this is Rachmaninoff’s most intimate concerto, making it perfect for a completely personal performance.
I chose dark to describe the emotional depth portrayed in each movement - bitter loss, hopeless melancholy, and bleak despair, to name a few examples. I feel that this music is always reaching and longing for something unattainable, the climaxes occurring not when that object is attained, but when one completely embraces and accepts the fact that it is unattainable.
Though Rachmaninoff was a throw-back composer, he was aware of the other types of music being composed during his lifetime. This concerto is edgy in its jazz-influenced harmonies and rhythms. It has moments that are modal, whole-tone, or even hexatonic, and utilizes complicated cross rhythms and cross-meters. I believe it reaches some of Rachmaninoff’s limits in how far he was willing to go in the direction of his contemporaries.
Hear Joseph perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 live, with the Oberlin Orchestra, on Saturday night at 8! (April 12).
Can’t make it to Finney Chapel here on campus? Worry not! You can Listen Live!
Congratulations to Charles Colwell, YiQiao Li, Joseph Hauer, and Carl Gardner!
These four are our 2013 Concerto Competition winners. All will perform throughout April and May with the Oberlin Orchestra and Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, and we’re live-streaming each performance!
Congratulations to the pianist Jeremy Denk, who has been awarded the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, as well as Charlie Albright (pianist), Dimitri Murrath (violist) and the Calder Quartet, who have been awarded Avery Fisher Career Grants. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1fW2AjR
Jeremy Denk ‘90! Plus our next quartet-in-residence, the Calder Quartet! We’re feeling a little lucky :D
Punch Brothers + PI = Good Times
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