Faculty members convey emotion to Susquehanna students in recital

By Danielle Bettendorf Asst. living and arts editor

Susquehanna music faculty members performed a recital on Feb. 23 in Stretansky Concert Hall.

Jennifer Sacher Wiley, associate professor of music, performed on violin. Ilya Blinov, lecturer in music, performed on piano.

The duo performed “Sonata No. 4 in D” by George Handel, “Albumstücke” by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Suite of Spanish Folksongs” by Manuel De Falla and “Sonata No. 9 in A, Op. 47” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Planning for the recital came about last spring, when Wiley originally approached Blinov about a collaboration.

“I asked Dr. Blinov if he would work with me on a recital last year, at Commencement, and I invited him to choose the program,” Wiley said.

When choosing the repertoire, Blinov noted that they had to consider not only what would work for themselves individually, but which pieces fit with them together.

“When you play with someone, [there’s] always emotional chemistry,” Blinov said. “We just tried to pick the pieces that worked for both of us.”

Blinov stated that the recital would not only be the result of he and Wiley performing, but would involve a connection with the audience as well.

“Hopefully [the audience] will be a part of the performance,” Blinov said. “The audience is another partner, so the collaboration is not only between the people who are on stage, but between the performance and the audience. It’s always [a] mutual collaboration.”

Wiley hoped that the audience would lose themselves in the performance and become absorbed in the music.

“I hope they will revel in beauty for an hour or so and forget their troubles and the troubles of the world,” Wiley said.According to Blinov, the recital was distinctive from others that have been held on campus.

“Performances are like people,” Blinov said. “Every performance is absolutely unique.”

“Even if you play the same program in different venues, or if different people come, it’s always absolutely different,” Blinov continued. “The magic of the performance is that you don’t know how it will go until you’re actually on stage.”

“There are programs that I’ve played over a hundred times: for example, Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Seasons,’” Blinov said. “I started playing that music when I was a student myself, and I kept playing, and there were no two performances that were exactly alike.”

Students of the two appreciated seeing their professors perform, in contrast to only seeing their professors teach.

“I take violin here, so [Wiley’s] my teacher,” first-year Sarah McMillin said. “It’s really cool seeing and watching her play all the things that she tells me to do.”

“I have her for solo class, even though I play piano,” first-year Ali Hordeski said. “It’s really cool because when somebody’s telling you like, ‘do this this way or do this that way or make it better,’ you actually want to do it if you hear them and you’re like, ‘Oh, they’re actually really good. They know what they’re talking about.’”

Students spoke of the ability of the duo to convey emotion to the audience.

“[I noticed] the amount of pathos that all the faculty have,” sophomore Val Smith-Gonzalez said. “I always sit here, and whatever song they’re playing—the mood [in] the song that they’re playing—I feel that mood.”

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