Professors woo campus with romance language
February 16, 2010 8:51 PM
SF State's creative arts department poured out their hearts Friday, Feb. 12 as students and guests were treated and serenaded on this Valentine's Day weekend with a free faculty recital in Knuth Hall.
Teachers from the department performed songs by 20th century female French composers centered around none other than the theme of love.
"They were doing 20th century French music with a Valentine's Day theme," said Jeremy Flanagan, 27, a graduate student in music at SF State. "It was very light hearted and very sweet. I came because I like the teachers."
The recital, titled "Love Letters from France," was a collection of pieces composed by Lili Boulanger and Germaine Tailleferre. The show began with an impressive display of piano virtuosity thanks to professors Inara Morgenstern and Victoria Neve. Morgenstern and Neve performed Boulanger's "D'un Matin De Printemps" in unison and the dueling pianos acted like conflicted lovers striving for harmony and balance for which they clearly let the notes do the talking. Students certainly enjoyed the music, and found the aspect of seeing their teachers perform a little more than amusing.
"It was a good concert because they're our teachers and they're divas," said Natalie Buck-Bauer, 19, music and voice major.
Associate Professor Alissa Deeter then accompanied Morgenstern on stage to sing other pieces by Boulanger and Francis Jammes. Deeter's delicate and beautiful vibrato reverberated around the small concert hall and shed a glimmer of romantic hope on the audience with a smile that seemed to remind the audience that not all love songs are limited to sadness. Each song fluctuated in and out of soft singing that suddenly escalated into loud boisterous bursts of emotional proclamations.
"The songs were pretty short and simple," Jameelah Taylor said.
Near the end of the recital, Professor Sara Ganz shared the stage with Morgenstern and did something differently before diving into her performance of Tailleferre. Ganz gave the audience a simple captivating history of the songs and didn't dare to sugar coat the heart of their meaning, in English of course.
"These are her flirtations with feminism," said Ganz. "(Tailleferre) strikes out for the female having an enjoyable life." Ganz then glanced over at Morgenstern who clearly amused by her candid and direct explanation. "Is that what you wanted me to say?" asked Ganz.
Morgenstern responded, "Exactly."
Wearing a vibrant red shirt and red lipstick, Ganz performed her pieces with enriched animation. She seemed to place herself in the story and sang each piece with emotionally driven billowing conviction that didn't hide behind anything.
"They're very naughty songs, very naughty," Ganz acknowledged. "And I tried to show it."
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