Just before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLV on Sunday 6th there was another, though little-known, event on Roanoke College’s campus.Â Olin Hall’s own Recital Hall provided the intimate atmosphere for A Concert of Romantic Chamber Music which featured three musicians from the Roanoke area.
However, even with Valentine’s Day looming near, the theme of the concert was not romantic in the colloquial sense.Â Referring to the movement that resounded through the 19th century, the shift affected much of the music, literature, and philosophy produced during that time.
The concert, therefore, featured pieces published from 1838 to 1923.Â The first was Felix Mendelssohn’s Sonata in F Major for Violin and Piano with Geronimo Oyenard on violin and RC’s own Fine Arts Department Chair, Gordon Marsh, on piano.
Oyenard, member of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and first violinist for the Blue Ridge String Quartet, performed vigorous technical feats along with the ever-challenging musical aspects of slower passages.Â The duo played brilliantly together, their queues always precisely in-line with each other.
The next selection introduced David Feldman on cello with Marsh on piano for Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestuecke for Violoncello and Piano.Â Feldman, also a member of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, has a degree from Roanoke College in cello performance.Â The piece, despite demanding a musical and technical prowess with its quick slides up and down the length of the fingerboard, required on this particular performance a mental one as well.
As the duo was playing, the ubiquitous, friendly creature, known as the stinkbug, decided to make its own appearance.Â The adroit young cello player had just swept up to the belly of the instrument when the stinkbug landed on the fingerboard.Â The audience made sounds of fear and suspense to see what the player would do.Â He kept on, his fingers pivoting back up to the top.Â His fingers were going faster than the stinkbug.
Fortunately for the audience, and Feldman, the stinkbug avoided that fate by flying away.Â The rest of the concert, however, went on swimmingly.
“The concert was excellent, and the crowd really seemed to enjoy it,” said Sarah Williams ’13.