Faculty Piano and Trumpet Recital


Morgan Fuerstenberg Graphic

On Sunday, Sept. 12, there was a concert performed by two faculty members in the music program here at UW-Platteville, who in their own right are well-versed in the instruments that they play.  

Dr. Kaju Lee was the pianist during this recital and has built quite the career for herself. She has done many performances both nationally and internationally. She has performed in many different countries such as Austria, Canada, South Korea and many more.  

Dr. David Cooper was the trumpet player for the recital and also has quite the resume, being a part of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Isthmus Brass and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Though it was a relatively short recital, it was full of enjoyable music.

There were four pieces in total that were performed on that night, which were broken into two sections with a small intermission halfway through. The concert opened with Breves Rencontres, which means Brief Encounters, by the French composer Jacques Castérede and then transitioned to Sonata for Trumpet and Piano written by Norman Dello Joio which also came with an interesting fact. Dello Joio had an interest in using older music to set a base for his compositions and this one in particular was based on a Gregorian chant, a kind of music that goes far back in time. Both of the pieces were fast paced and seemingly full of chaos that helped show off each musician’s technical abilities. Dr. Lee ran her fingers up and down the piano with speed and precision, yet made it seem effortlessly. Dr. Cooper got to show off his master over the trumpets with interval changes and double-tonguing that sounded fluid.  

After the brief intermission, the concert was rounded out by Frour Variations on a Theme by Domenico Scarlatti, written by Marcel Bitsch, which, similarly to the piece written by Joio, was based on a theme by Domenico Scarlatti, an Italian composer who lived from 1685-1757. This piece was unique from the other three pieces. Dr. Cooper said that it seemed to have been written in a style more of that of a cello than for a trumpet, and indeed it was. The usual fast runs and precise articulations were switched with fluid melodies, but it still was impressive and technical. They then finished off the concert with a Sonata for Trumpet and Piano written by the German composer Karl Pliss. This piece went back to being fast paced, with some chaos thrown in. There were tempo changes in the piece that were purposeful by the composer which threw off some sense in order, but then it got brought back towards the end, along with a feeling of completion, which was a wonderful end to the concert.

This concert was really enjoyable to watch and to listen to. Both Dr. Lee and Dr. Cooper got to display their talents and abilities with the music they performed. Dr. Lee not only showed emotion with her playing but also with her movements and body language to convey the feeling of the music. Dr. Cooper showed his mastery over the instrument and both performers showed just how confident and talented they are with their instruments.