By Tiffani Tang
Friends and family filled up Mayo Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13, for Steven Thompson’s installment of the College’s senior recital series.
Armed with a black suit and his guitar, Thompson began his first piece, “Prelude No. 3 in A minor,” by Heitor Villa-Lobos — a nice way to start the program.
In one section, there was a build up to hit one high note before going back to the repetition of a high melody into blocked notes.
The next piece, also by Villa-Lobos, was “Prelude No. 4 in E minor,” which started off with a slow prominent melody answered with a piano response.
The song built up to a high intensity before slowing down to twanging high notes. The high notes melted away back into lower ones, and the song ended with a single clear strum.
“Ricercare,” by Francesco da Milano, was the third piece played.
It was very reminiscent of a folk song from the Renaissance, bringing the audience back to that time period.
In the middle of the performance, there was a slight pause to retune and Thompson began again. This part of the song took a braver tone, with more prominent dynamics and a smooth ending.
“Danza,” by an anonymous composer and arranged by Oscar Chilesotti, followed. This short piece had slight rests between measures, giving off breaths and the impression of passing off partners while dancing.
The fifth piece of the afternoon was “Variation on a Theme by Handel, Op. 107,” by Mauro Giuliani. The melody was very strong and he was singing straight out to the audience.
Notes climbed up by half steps in a crescendo and then they climbed back down in a diminuendo and ritardando. It was as if the piece was running back and forth between two very different sections.
The mezzo forte music accelerated into a new melody with constant bass notes. It took a lighter, sillier feel before coming to an end of three notes, the pretty little bow on a present.
Thompson stretched his fingers before performing his last piece, “Capricho árabe,” by Francisco Tárrega.
It started off as a slow piece integrated with spurs of fast rhythms. Then the piece took on a calm and casual tone. Although the music was complicated, Thompson played through it with ease.
It was a lovely piece that mirrored the beautiful weather outside.
As he stood on stage to take his bows, the audience gave him a loud and long standing ovation.
Thompson beamed, grinned largely and mouthed “thank you” to everyone in attendance.
When he walked out into the lobby, everyone began clapping again.
“The rush after you’re done is amazing,” Thompsom said. “For the next four hours, you’re on adrenaline.”
He paused to take some more pictures and to thank friends for coming.
“The last one,” Thompson said in regard to which song was his favorite piece to play. “I heard it my freshman year and I thought, ‘I need to play that for my recital!’”
Thompson has been thinking about his senior recital since he was a freshman, and all of his hard work has finally paid off.