Clarke and Cesena shine in passionate recital

MUSIC REVIEW: World-renowned pianist and violinist duo perform a beautiful concert to a large crowd in the Music Recital Hall.

by Edward Ruano, Staff Writer

Valley College students were treated to a free, hour-long recital on Wednesday in the Music Recital Hall, as part of the Free Wednesday Concert Series. The performance featured two distinguished, world acclaimed artists: violinist Pip Clarke and pianist Marcelo Cesena.

The audience was mostly composed of students in music or music appreciation classes, but the doors were open to the public. The recital’s repertoire was carefully chosen and demonstrated each musician’s ability to play a range of different tones. Clarke and Cesena performed works by Edward Elgar, Frtiz Kreisler, Bela Bartok, Antonin Dvorak and Cesar Franck.

“The show was very intense,” said Andrew Pacia, an undecided major. “[Clarke] was very passionate.”

The performance began with Clarke and Cesena’s rendition of “Chanson de Matin” by Elgar, a somber piece, transitioning gracefully to Clarke’s solo performance of Recitativo and Scherzo by Kreisler.

Cesena joined Clarke again for other works by Bartok and Dvorak before both artists finished the show with the appropriate “Sonata for Violin and Piano” by Franck. The crowd responded to the recital with enthusiasm, and gave standing applauses between songs while they eagerly waited to hear the next piece.

Cesena, a Brazilian concert pianist, has performed solo and with other artists in prestigious concert halls throughout Brazil, Italy, Bosnia, France and the United States. He is a highly praised pianist in the world of classical music, winning multiple awards, such as the 2009 and 2013 Brazilian International Press Award for “The best Brazilian musician living in America.”

Clarke’s reputation in the world of classical music is equally as impressive. She has demonstrated to be one of the most prominent violinists of her generation, releasing two albums between 1994 and 2006: Romantic Violin Showpieces and After a Dream. Her musical talent has taken her touring across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In October 2007, Clarke gave her sold-out debut in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

“[Clarke] was amazing,” said Jonathan Corral, a voice major who attended the concert. “The repertoire was beautifully chosen and really showcased her abilities. It was really amazing musicianship.”

Clarke’s sound was mostly tender and melancholic, coupled with small bursts of rapid intensity and energy during parts of her performance of “Romanian Dances” by Bartok. She wore her emotions on her face, mostly tender for pieces like “Canson de Matin.” Clarke was impressive to watch and left each note lingering with a gorgeous tone.

Cesena’s fervent performance demonstrated his extraordinary musical capacity. His playing style was dynamic and executed to match the various styles brought on by the violin. Much of the pleasure in the sound came from the musical chemistry between Cesena and Clarke; both musicians transitioned through all of the pieces smoothly and fluidly, with music bouncing off of each other in a call and response fashion.


The next free Wednesday concert will be Oct. 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall, in room 106 of the Music building. The upcoming show will feature Les Sauvages Américains, a new Los Angeles-based ensemble. 

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