Last week, music students from Mount Allison and Université de Moncton came together to deliver Entre Amis, a concert full of variety and great talent.
There were some truly passionate performances throughout the evening, including one by Tabitha Payzant, a Mt. A student who performed Alberto Ginastera pieces for piano. The interesting part of this performance was not only the music itself but Payzant’s theatricality and physical performance throughout. Her expressive performance added a strong visual appeal, as the musician’s passionate body movements added to the emotional impact of the piece.
Another particularly riveting performance was that of Mozart’s “E Susanna non vien! – Dove sono.” Mt. A students Janna Sherlock and Aude Urbancic did the song great justice, performing in voice and piano respectively. Sherlock’s vocal work was powerful and passionate, aided by her facial expressions which conveyed the song’s feelings of anger and despair. Urbancic’s piano work was soft and light, a pleasant backdrop to highlight Sherlock’s voice.
A trio of UdeM students – Ricky Frenette on flute, Justin Doucette on violin and Jacques Boudreau on piano – later took the stage, performing “Andante sostenuto” by Nino Rota. These three instruments matched up beautifully together, especially in a piece that sounded so sweet and sad. The intensity of the song switched regularly; one moment they were soft and delicate, the next, bold and dramatic. The performers maintained a certain seamlessness to the transition, making their selection an easy listen from beginning to end.
A paricularly well-received performance was that of Mt. A students Jennifer Perdue and Brandon Olsen, who respectively played the saxophone and piano. Their performance of Pierre Max Dubois’s “à la russe” featured two dramatically different playing styles, with no initial warning of when the switch would occur.
As Perdue and Olsen began to play, they presented a piece that was soft, melancholic and relaxing. Just as the audience began to relax and enjoy the softness, the piece suddenly changed, shifting to a quick, bouncy pace before reverting to its original pace. The spontaneity of the shift was a pleasant surprise to the audience, and Perdue and Olsen exited the stage to the sound of many claps, cheers and laughs.
Overall, the concert was highly entertaining and ripe with a wide variety of sounds, instruments and playing styles. While the Mt. A and UdeM students differed in style and background, the chemistry between musicians and performances was palpable.