Distaff duo dazzles devotees

Fannin Hall hosted its second outstanding faculty music recital of the season Sept. 5. Professor Boriana Savova opened the noontime concert with three brief but thunderous Rachmaninov piano preludes, interestingly each piece, beginning in A minor, moved chromatically, or a half step below, the one prior.

Savova was later joined on stage by violin professor Leah Greenfield-Fritz in a rousing rendering of César Franck’s “Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major,” followed by John Williams’ piano-violin arrangement of Bock’s “Fiddler on the Roof.” Together the pulchritudinous pair put on a performance that clearly placed them among our area’s picture perfect pros.

Admired and venerated at Richland for more than a decade for her extraordinary mastery of the keyboard, Savova again displayed what she explained during the Q&A after the concert was the result of her youthful habit of steady practice.

“My mother was an opera singer,” she said in her enchanting Bulgarian accent, “and because I often accompanied her, she also trained me well in the chemistry of making music with another person.”

Dressed in a maroon iridescent taffeta silk blouse and black skirt, Savova demonstrated with supple fingers and relaxed wrists what a grand piano can express when manipulated by an expert.

Greenfield-Fritz, in her third year at Richland as violin-viola instructor, was equally impressive as she showed how a hank of horsehair on a stick pulled across four wires attached to a small wooden box can transfix an audience.

Rising on her toes at times and dipping her shoulders at others, she teased the essence of Franck’s sonata from her violin with nary a flaw, all the while displaying a virtuosity and serenity that echoed the purity of her sound.

When her final note was done, her left hand continued its vibrato, gently waving farewell to the receding tone. A hush settled across the house, a moment savored by all.

By contrast, the ensuing “Fiddler on the Roof” was his usual tempestuous self, ever in peril yet vibrant and boisterous. The two talented ladies concluded the program by answering questions from the audience and discussing the merits of regular practice in an ensemble setting.

The next concert takes place at 12:30 p.m. today. The featured artist is Lutist, Jacob Jackson. The Texas Sax Quartet performs Sept. 19. Additional information is available at https://alt.richlandcollege.edu/assets/uploads/2017/07/Fall17-Music-Recital-Series.pdf