Chloe D’Addio and Julia Laysone Sophomore Recital
“Each composer in this program is a woman. Now, before you drop the program and sprint out the door to avoid the feminists, let me explain. The value of this program lies not in the gender of its composers, but in their individual talents as creators and developers of musical form. I feel that our knowledge of Western Music is based in textbooks, performances, and lectures that often neglect to feature largely influential or immensely popular composers- composers who just happen to be women. This belief is what fueled my desire to present to you this collection of pieces by female composers, to supply just another sliver of exposure to works that you (perhaps) have not heard before.” On Saturday, April 4th, Chloe D’Addio ’17 and Julia Laysone ’17 put on a recital that, in many ways, has been very unlike what we’ve seen in the music scene on campus. Besides just a typical classical music recital, Chloe, a lyric coloratura soprano if there ever was one paired together with Julia, a flautist for an unusual pairing that most likely wouldn’t have escaped a single piece in a recital otherwise. Also, the repertoire for the recital consisted of composers of a different sort. Women wrote all of the works on the recital. This represents a huge leap in the exposure in the classical music world since women composers have historically been published less.
The recital opened with Chloe singing “Three Browning Songs.” It was a gorgeous opening, setting a lofty, lyric mood for the recital. My personal favorite of the set was “I send my heart up to thee”, which effectively made me question why sopranos often get the best songs to sing.
Julia’s first set was the Mélanie Bonis’ “Sonata for Flute,” which, although in a more Romantic style, was a refreshing air from instrumental literature of that time. In just three movements, she captivated the audience with her collaboration with David Cover, one of Bucknell’s collaborative pianist faculty.
Chloe and then Julia followed the performing three songs by Clara Schumann, the pianist wife of the renowned Robert Schumann, and Aubade, a solo work for flute, respectively.
The recital ended with a collaboration of all three performers for Cécile Chaminade’s “Portrait”. The piece completely blew me away with how genuinely and technically well it was executed. And with enough snarky looks at each other during the piece and seeing how much they were enjoying themselves, it was a great end to a really innovative recital.
Photo by Alec Rogers ‘17
Afterwards, I was able to talk with Chloe about the recital and get some insight into the process and the performance:
M: Why did you and Julia decide to do your sophomore recital together?
C: I've always thought that the timbral interplay between the soprano voice and flute is truly spectacular; if you know what you're doing, and you execute things properly, the two can achieve a marvelous phenomenon in which it can be difficult to discern exactly which musician is producing what sound... And I think that even the possibility for such synthesis is a beautiful thing. And when your closest friend just so happens to play the other instrument in the equation, it makes sense to collaborate, you know?
M: What were you most excited about in preparing for your recital?
C: I've always had an immense curiosity about the skew of history due to social perception... I was a very inquisitive child with a skeptical grandfather who just so happened to have an inordinately large library. When I became further entrenched in music history this academic year, I came to find that many composers of note were excluded for our studies; mostly they were women. When my instructor, Dr. Emily Martin-Moberley, suggested the idea of a program by only female composers, I leaped at the chance to give exposure to some wonderfully composed pieces that have had minimal exposure; I wanted to engage my audience with the pieces, not because of the composers' genders, but because the music in and of itself was something to be appreciated.
M: What's different about performing with two instrumentalists rather than just a pianist?
C: Imagine dancing in a prescribed form while only having control of one of your legs: you need to be aware of yourself and your fellow instrumentalists even more so than usual. Like anything else collaborative, it requires a great deal of trust and clear communication, as well: you need to be secure enough in yourself to support the other person.
This was an amazing recital and I hope that we can start to appreciate more of the out-of-the-box events that happen on campus like this, even with classical music. We’re surrounded by so much great music that is created by our peers and to support them is just to show that music brings us all a little more together.
Chloe is B.M. Music Performance (Voice) major involved in the Bucknell Opera Theatre, Kappa Alpha Theta, The Buck’s Orchestra, GSA, and Arts First Pre-Orientation on campus. She is a voice student of Dr. Emily Martin.
Julia is a B.M. Music Education (Flute) major involved in the Bucknell Gamelan Ensemble, Kappa Alpha Theta, and the Residential College Program on campus. She is a flute student of Leslie Cullen.