Conservatory Recital Offers Relief, Relaxation

Professor Thomas Stein preforms at last Thursday’s faculty recital. (Source, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance)

The UMKC Conservatory recital Thursday evening didn’t pack many surprises. The pieces chosen for the recital were challenging and entertaining, but few seemed out of the ordinary.

However, Thomas Stein, an associate professor in the Conservatory, offered rare opportunities for reflection throughout the performance.

Stein summed it up as, “There are times in our life [that] we need calm.” Such a statement illustrated the soothing effect of the evening’s musical selections.

A piece by lesser-known composer Jerome Besozzi stood out as the most majestic. Stein and professor Alison DeSimone had a tight repartee in their performance of Besozzi’s piece, “Sonata in B-flat Major.” Here, the harpsichord added a special nuance for the rapt audience.

“Three Sketches” by Ben Miles commanded attention in its own respect, as it took more musical risks. The piece was more overt and controversial in comparison to the other four. The performance of Stein and pianist Ellen Sommer appeared significantly more challenging.

“The Mozart Tuba Concerto” by James Mobberley, composed just this year, had some unusual titling. “Allegro: Mostly Mozart” is the name of the first movement, and the names of the two following movements emulated its creativity. The overall piece, despite luring in the listener with its creative titles, sounded a bit similar to all of the others.

Though not a surprise, “Sonatina,” by composer Hasley Stevens, delivered a dynamic energy between the piano and tuba. The piece enthused Stein, among others.

Professor JoDee Davis of the Conservatory gave a concise summary of the overall recital.

“Thomas Stein has once again presented a wonderful program of interesting solo tuba literature,” Davis said.

It should be noted that while Davis said “solo,” none of the pieces were performed solely by Professor Stein – all were duos in some way.

Student Carl Schumacher also enjoyed the recital.

“It demonstrates a lot of technique from both the composer and performer to pull off these pieces, as well as knowledge of the musical periods,” Schumacher commented.

The Conservatory’s next performance will take place Sept. 1, with two performances planned.

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