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Farny to perform in recital at Nazareth
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Farny to perform in recital at Nazareth

Dr. Natasha Farny

School of Music faculty member Dr. Natasha Farny will perform at the Nazareth College's Department of Music’s “The Best of East and West” program as part of its Faculty Recital Series on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m., in the Gerald G. Wilmot Recital Hall.

The concert will feature Nazareth College Department of Music faculty Mimi Hwang on cello, who will be joined by violinists Patricia Sunwoo and David Brickman, violist Melissa Matson, cellist Dr. Farny, and pianist Elinor Freer in performing “Sound of the Five” by Chen Yi, as well as works by Debussy, Arensky, and Zhou Long.

The performance is free and open to the public.

The “The Best of East and West” program will also include “Wild Grass” by Zhou Long; “Four Pieces” by Russian composer Anton Arensky; and the Cello Sonata by French composer Claude Debussy.

“Sound of the Five” was commissioned by the Eastman School of Music for the Ying Quartet and Hwang. It was premiered in Kilbourn Hall in November 1998. The piece includes four movements — “Lusheng Ensemble,” “Echoes of the Set Bells,” “Romance of Hsiao and Ch’in,” and “Flower Drums in Dance” — which were written for Western instruments to reproduce the sound of traditional Chinese instruments.

“While it’s always exciting to have a piece written for you, I haven’t played this in a while and wanted to share it with the Nazareth and Rochester communities,” Hwang offered. “I decided to design a program around it, hence the East/West theme. The challenges lie in creating the sounds of the Chinese instruments, something I don’t do very often. Although I am of Chinese descent, I was born and raised in Los Angeles and did not grow up hearing these instruments. I'm learning how to imitate them as any Westerner would.”

The West-themed works on the program are by Russian composers Anton Arensky and Claude Debussy. Hwang described Arensky's “Four Pieces” as “gems; romantic in style and lyrical (Arensky's greatest musical influence was Tchaikovsky).” The final piece, Debussy’s Cello Sonata, was one of the composer’s later works and is a staple in the cello repertoire.

“Both Arensky's and Debussy’s works suggest influences from both the Near and Far East, with the use of modes and pentatonic scales,” Hwang said of her decision to include these works.

Pianist and frequent collaborator, Ms. Freer will join Hwang on the Arensky and the Debussy.

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