Adjunct voice teacher Pamela Kurau, accompanied by pianist Joseph Werner and horn player W. Peter Kurau, gave an unforgettable performance last Sunday afternoon to all in attendance.
The faculty recital, held in Wadsworth Auditorium, featured a program consisting of musical selections in a variety of languages that was thoroughly entertaining. The first half of the show contained pieces in French and German, with translations of the lyrics at the back of the program so that all audience members could better understand meanings in the songs.
Kurau's beautiful operatic voice filled the air with soothing imagery that expertly captured the moods of the music. One of her most memorable pieces was "Der Hirt auf dem Felsen," which translates to "The Shepherd on the Rock," composed by Franz Schubert. The multi-sectional piece expressed warmth, sorrow, and joy. The piano and horn accompaniment contributed greatly to its success, and ultimately it was an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Another memorable as well as familiar song was "The Little Horses," composed by Aaron Copland. This famous lullaby could not have been sung more beautifully - sending chills up the spines of audience members who listened to Kurau's smooth voice and incredibly precise diction. To show their appreciation, several people in attendance went backstage after the show to compliment Kurau on her wonderful talent.
Kurau, who has been singing for almost her entire life, began by performing in church choirs. By the time she was 19 years old, she had been accepted into a choral group and decided that she would take up a career in music. She has said that her biggest influence on this decision was her voice teacher who coached her while she was earning her Master's degree.
Although the show predominately featured Kurau, it would not be fair to ignore the talents of her accompanists. Werner's abilities on the piano suggested an intimate knowledge of the music he was playing and in addition, his perfection in terms of rhythm and dynamics was incredible. All of his abilities came together to create the ideal background and harmony for each piece. Similarly, W. Peter Kurau was an amazing brass musician, and his skills left many audience members wondering why he only performed in a few of the pieces.
The three performers have been rehearsing for Sunday's show since the middle of July, and this dedication and commitment was evident when they took the stage. The trio played and sang powerfully enough that hearing every word and note was even easy for those seated far away.
Kurau felt that the performance went well. "I am really, really quite happy," she said.