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CultureCampus Review
Summer Piano Concert at CAU
Lee Hyun-jo  |  alice3089@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2017.09.01  13:34:54
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Let's stop by and listen to the beautiful melody presented by the harmony of 88 piano keys. Just when we were worn out and in need of some healing from the blazing summer sun and sweltering heat, Summer Piano Concert invited everyone to chill out. Members from Piano In, consisting of students from the music department, majoring in piano, held a special concert on July 28th at the Art Center on Seoul Campus. As you can guess from the name, the concert was filled with bright summer theme songs that were cool enough to wash off people’s exhaustion from daily life. The concert not only filled the entire hall, but also the minds of the audience.
1. A Glimpse into the Concert
The concert was composed of songs that everyone could easily enjoy. Two sets of pianos were placed facing each other and the stage was well suited for the ensemble performance. Ensemble refers to a united performance in musical groups. There were relatively more ensemble performances than solo stages, which was a distinguishing feature of this concert. The composition was divided into three parts: four performers performing together during the first and the last song, two pianists giving powerful performances, and lastly solo performers playing challenging songs.
2. Main Performances to Look Back Upon:
W. Gillock - “Champagne Toccata” (for two pianos with eight hands)
Gillock is a noted educator and composer of piano music. He wrote not only numerous solo pieces at all level, but also a variety of ensemble ones to be played together. As a result of his trademark beauty in melody, he is called “the Schubert of children’s composition.” The first song, "Champagne Toccata,” was performed by four players, creating abundant sounds with a pleasant melody resembling popping bubbles of champagne sparkles.
M. Ravel - Rapsodie Espagnole (for two pianos)
Ravel was a French composer, often associated with Spanish atmosphere in his pieces. The distinctive Spanish impression in his composition was also felt throughout the performance. The powerful ensemble of two performers caught the audience’s attention, as everyone held their breaths till the very end.
S. Joplin – Rag Rhapsody (for two pianos with eight hands)
Scott Joplin mainly composed Ragtime style of piano pieces with jazz rhythms. The song that decorated the finale of the concert was compiled by Kevien R. Olson, transforming the tunes for eight hands. Like the overall atmosphere of the concert, the delightful and lively melody, presented by the harmony of eight hands, lingers for a long time afterward.
3. Interview with the Professor-in-charge
Professor Lee Hye-kyung (Professor of Piano, Music Department of Arts)
Q: Give us a brief introduction of Piano In.
A: I have always tried to give students opportunities to perform, and Piano In is part of this endeavor. There are three meanings behind “Piano In.” As once fragile tree roots go underground and grow to become a fruitful tree, “In” means “endure, take root, and participate” when translated in Korean.  
Q: What is the charm of ensemble?
A: I think the greatest charm of ensemble is that it enables players to express themselves beyond the range of a solo and discover musical inspiration together. Piano can give the impression like an orchestra and this is best expressed through ensemble.
Q: Is there any message you want to deliver to the audience?
A: First of all, I sincerely hope that people can leave feeling cool. Also, it would be great if they gained courage from realizing that there are people working hard to find the true artistic beauty. In addition, I hope that this concert helped in breaking the prejudice that classical music is boring.
4. What Piano In Tells About the Concert
Interview with Kim Jong-Hwan and Moon Ji-Yang
Q: Tell us about the special concept of the concert.
A: As the name of the concert suggests, all of the songs played are related to summer. We expect that the audience can enjoy more, since the lists played are from contemporary music, not from classical or romantic times.
Q: What is the piece that you are most attached to?
Kim: Although Maurice Ravel is a French composer, his pieces bring melodies from Spain and melt in different features from other countries. I have to say that the song that I am most attached to is the Ravel’s piece.
Moon: My favorites are “I got rhythm,” through which is a piece that George Gershwin brought changes in rhythm and the first song, “Champagne Toccata”. Especially, “Champagne Toccata” is a piece that has a unique name and congenial melody. I guess audiences will fall into its charm as well.
Q: What does piano personally mean to you?
Kim: I have played the piano since I was little and now it became part of me. I have also tried other instruments, but piano is by far the best. The greatest thing about piano is that it enables various kinds of performances with numerous keys. Not to mention that it is easy to play along whenever possible. Piano is undeniably precious to me.  
Moon: Piano is a musical instrument that requires great effort and concentration, both mentally and physically. I think that one can not carry on with the path of a pianist if there is no self-discipline going on. In this sense, I wish other students majoring in piano feel pride about themselves.  
The sound of the piano is decided by the blink of 0.003 seconds. Behind the cheerful and bright splash of piano melody lies great delicacy in order to fully deliver this refreshment to the audience. The piano can be regarded as one of the most popular musical instruments. However, we should note that it takes a lot of effort and time to become a professional pianist. Let’s give a round of applause once again to the students from Piano In for preparing such a beautiful summer concert!
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