The Paw Print
On Tuesday, April 20, senior Josh Wohlrabe, who’s majoring in Music Performance and Composition, gave his senior composition recital to a varied and engaged crowd. His works had been written for varied instruments and in slightly different styles, but all held an overall tone and style that could only be described as vivid, strong, beautiful, and insistent.
The first set of pieces was performed by Gabriel Swanson on the piano. “Le Giante” began the recital, with a humorous and modern take on the waltz a giant would dance to. This was followed by “First Mistake”, Wohlrabe’s first piece for piano, which was short but beautiful. “Rhapsody in a Fallen World”, meant to express the joys that can be found even in a dark and traumatic place, rounded off the set, and made for one of the most striking and complex pieces of the night.
After the piano set, a MIDI recording of Wohlrabe’s “Love: A Short Story” played. This piece had four movements, the first about first attraction, the second about togetherness, the third telling the story of a loved one dying, and the fourth bringing around themes of the first movement to express the last moments the couple has together. Though the breaks between movements were hard to follow, the overall feel of the piece was fantastic.
Following this, a very complex arpeggiated piece called “Inception” was performed by Rose Stroback, Hannah Liechty, and Danielle Rady. Wohlrabe based this piece off of works by film composer Bernard Herman, and it came to great effect. After a brief intermission, a film score by Wohlrabe for “The Green Mile” played, with two different scenes fleshed out for the audience. This was followed by another MIDI for “Turn”, which had some playback difficulties but overall went well.
Following “Turn”, a string quartet of Micaela Morgan, Mikaela Easton, Dr. Matthew Schildt, and Kira Budge played three short quartets Wohlrabe wrote his freshman year of college, leading to his realization that he wanted to go into composition. “The Schemers”, “Pick it Up”, and “Water” were all very different in style but overall interesting and pretty. The performance then ended with a “Trio for Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, and Piano” based off of the style of the composer Ravel, one of Wohlrabe’s favorite pieces. This trio was played by Stroback, Kayla Hunt, and Swanson.
Overall, this performance was a great success, and proved to the audience Wohlrabe’s great and growing skill with emotional, full, and complex composition. A couple more music events are left in the semester, including the orchestra concert in Richardson at 7pm Saturday. Don’t miss out!