On Tuesday, January 10, the Loomis Chaffee community enjoyed a performance featuring an assortment of compositions for cello and piano played by guest musician Peter Dzialo and faculty member Tamila Azadaliyeva. The performance began with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata in G Minor. Originally composed for the viola da gamba and harpsichord, this piece was later arranged for cello and piano. The audience experienced the playful and complex musical exchange between the two instruments common in baroque music. The musicians then played Brahms’ Cello Sonata in E Minor. A signature cello composition written in the romantic era, Mr. Dzialo milked his beautiful sound, vibrating his long notes and playing with great passion and bravado. As an accompanist, Ms. Azadaliyeva played the demanding piano part with great dexterity. Finally, the two performed David Popper’s Nocturne, Op. 47. A cello prodigy himself, Popper composed this piece of music in 1883. Mr. Dzialo showcased his ability to play with great emotion and vulnerability in this beautiful close to the show. The three contrasting compositions that were performed truly allowed the duo to showcase their musical prowess and command of their own respective instruments.
Ms. Azadaliyeva’s and Mr. Dzialo’s passion for music was certainly evident in their passionate performance. Ms. Azadaliyeva recalls being fascinated by the piano at a very young age, beginning her formal training at the age of 7 in her native Uzbekistan. “Music enriches our lives,” says Azadaliyeva. “I can’t imagine living without music.”
Mr. Dzialo stressed the importance of listening to and making music. “Aristotle says (contra Simonides) that ‘man should draw himself towards what is immortal and divine as much as he can.’ I try to make music that has something of this quality in that it provides well-ordered emotional purgation and delightful matter for contemplation,” said Dzialo. “These two ends relate to human nature itself, namely to our sense and intellectual powers, and so are in that way related to something timeless. Because there are many currents inside and outside of classical music and the wider culture that hold the mundane Simonidian view, it is important that those who hold the lofty Aristotelian view witness to it. Beauty does not look after itself.”
In addition to the joy one can derive from listening to music and being a part of a musical ensemble, Ms. Azadaliyeva underscored the importance of music for students. “It [Music] improves students’ academic, physical and social skills, teaches them discipline and patience, paying attention to details,” she said. “Playing an instrument facilitates learning other subjects, makes brain work harder, trains the memory.”
Following the recital sampler, students in the Chamber Music class took part in a masterclass with the guest musicians. Three groups performed and were given helpful advice to enhance their technique and performance. It was certainly a rewarding opportunity to watch as student performances were elevated by professional musicians who have devoted their life to playing and performing music.
Mr. Dzialo and Ms. Azadaliyeva have released two albums on the Lonely Peaks Records label. One is entitled, “The Accordable Cello,” and features a selection of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Zoltan Kodaly. The other album, entitled, “Refurbishing the Soul,” was recorded at the Loomis Chaffee Chapel, and includes works by Franz Schubert, Franz Josef Haydn, David Popper, and the never before recorded cello sonata by Rhene-Baton. Mrs. Azadaliyeva enjoyed working in the Chapel, noting the wonderful acoustics. “We are so thankful that Loomis Chaffee let us use this wonderful hall,” she said.
Their albums can be acquired via the Lonely Peaks Records website: http://www.lonelypeaksrecords.com/recordings