Lorraine Yant Piano Recital Highlights
Programing challenging solo repertoire by Bach, Scarlatti, Franck, and Beethoven, Lorraine Yant’s recital left the audience wanting more! In addition to her solos, Yant collaborated with MBU alumna Grace Betry on two huge crowd-pleasers—Shostakovich’s Concertino for Two Pianos and Libertango by Piazzolla.
After Yant’s performance, Tschida commented, “Lorraine’s palette of pianistic touches and a wide range of artistic interpretations brought the music to life making her performance most enjoyable and engaging!”
MBU’s music faculty frequently express appreciation for Yant’s strong work ethic. Yant does not coast on her talent or intellect but pushes herself to reach her full potential.
Excerpts and program notes for select pieces:
Sonata in G Minor, K. 30, Scarlatti
According to legend, Scarlatti’s cat was the inspiration for this piece. One day, walking across the keys of the harpsichord, the cat “randomly” played the opening six notes of this piece. Hence, the sonata’s nickname became “The Cat Fugue.” The opening theme appears fifteen times in closely related chords, in different registers, in thirds, in octaves, and in other interesting and exciting ways. An extended sequence over a sustained pedal point on the dominant tone builds anticipation for the final appearance of the subject. However, Scarlatti builds the final return of the subject on a G major chord rather than a minor chord.
Wauchet Auf, Bach
Also known as Sleepers Awake, “Wauchet Auf” is the opening chorale to what has been considered Bach’s “most beautiful” cantata. The text for this Lutheran chorale, “Awake, the voice commands,” is based on Christ’s parable of The Ten Virgins. Ferruccio Busoni, a romantic composer, is known for transcribing many works for piano including this Bach chorale. Perhaps the pure and beloved countermelody acting as a backdrop for the chorale is what makes this piece a favorite of many. In respect to both Bach and Busoni, I have tried to incorporate elements of both represented eras in the performance of this piece.
Prélude, Fugue et Variation, op. 18, Franck
Musicians often describe Franck’s music as improvisational and contrapuntal utilizing romantic harmonies and cyclical form. This piece, originally written for organ, showcases all these elements. Franck’s mastered skill in improvisation was so highly regarded that some consider him to be the best organist after Bach. This piece was originally an improvisation. He later notated and transcribed it for piano. There, it is necessary to use the sostenuto pedal extensively to sustain the tones that would be accomplished by the pedals on an organ. The prelude opens with a fragile and exposed theme. As it develops, elements of the prelude become the subject for the fugue in the third movement. The fugue then morphs into the final movement’s variation on the original prelude’s theme.
Lorraine Yant’s recital was prepared under the direction of June Brus and is given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Music Degree with concentrations in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy.