Performing an eclectic array of pieces on piano, professor Amy Stanley displayed her expertise and impressive repertoire on Sept. 28 in Wadsworth Auditorium.
An erudite Stanley, associate professor of music and coordinator of keyboard studies in the School of the Arts, appeared demurely on stage in a bright red blouse and began playing Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz's "Navarra" after giving the audience a brief history of the piece. As Stanley explained before she began, "Navarra" felt as though it could inspire dancing and the light but rich composition opened the concert appropriately.
"Navarra" was one of several works in which Stanley showed off her expertise at performing both playful and passionate music, but her talent was best demonstrated during her third arrangement. She played four of Sergei Rachmaninov's notoriously challenging etudes: three from "Opus 33" and the final one from "Opus 39."
Each of the etudes was brief but highly emotional, passionate and climactic. In her introduction of the arrangement, Stanley referred to the etudes as being "haunting" and having "thick textures." Her evaluation of the piece was accurate and her performance captivating to the listener.
The finale of Stanley's performance was equally as captivating, but less poignant. Sergei Prokofiev's "Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Opus 28" had a brisk tempo and was what Stanley called, "explosive in nature." The intricate piece finished the concert passionately and vociferously, but the audience walked away remembering the work performed immediately prior - "Haiduk's Dance."
Anneliese Weibel, also an associate professor in the School of the Arts, joined Stanley on stage in order to introduce her own composition. She explained that "Haiduk" is a term used for rebels in the Ottoman Empire. The crowd laughed as she also acknowledged Haiduk as the name of her horse, commenting on his frivolous and erratic behavior as a foal.
Her prologue opened the gates for listeners to imagine a cavorting young horse as Stanley premiered Weibel's "Haiduk's Dance." The piece of music was reminiscent of a horse, but also a "quilt," as Weibel described it - arranging contrasting segments in a medley of sound. "Haiduk's Dance" was both lighthearted and fervent simultaneously, and Stanley was just the pianist to capture these qualities.
The talent of two Geneseo professors was brilliantly showcased in "Haiduk's Dance;" Stanley was undeniably adept throughout the entire afternoon's recital.