Number 13 East Wheelock Street is a classic white building behind a row of hedges. This is the home of the faculty director to the East Wheelock residential cluster, Sergi Elizalde, who opens up his home to students and faculty for events, dinners, performances or—as was the case Monday, May 16—all three.
Tonight, May 17, at 7 pm, Hop pianist in residence Sally Pinkas and her friend, Boston-based cellist Jan Müller-Szeraws, will perform four renowned piano and cello sonatas in the Hop’s Spaulding Auditorium, works by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy and Franck. For those eager listeners of all ages at East Wheelock on May 16, Pinkas and Müller-Szeraws gave a much anticipated preview of the concert, playing one to two movements from each of the pieces in the following day’s concert repertoire. In between each of the movements, they talked casually with one another and the intimate audience about each piece, shedding light on its place in musical history and how each of them felt about the piece and prepared to play it in concert.
It was intriguing to hear the sage artists discuss the motivations behind each piece, such as how to balance modern musical performance with historic classical pieces. One topic that came up was how to manage vibrato and dynamics in the Bach sonata, since Bach would have been writing for harpsichord, which is much less resonant and lacks changes in amplitude, and not a modern pianoforte. It was a pleasure to see the inner workings of the minds of the musicians and learn about the incredible deliberation that accompanies the playing and practice of each piece.
After the mini-performance, everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner catered to the house, while discussion of the music continued, lighthearted and excited for the impending performance. The personal conversation and passionate performances by Pinkas and Müller-Szeraws left the audience eager for more and humming Beethoven down the street as they departed.
By Mallory Rutigliano ’17
Mallory Rutigliano is a member of the class of 2017. She enjoys playing in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, working with microscopic worms and missing New York pizza. Mallory studies Biology, Psychology and Global Health, and is also involved in the Office of Sustainability.