Dr. Atzinger opened the performance with Jean Sibelius' "Five Tree Pieces, Op. 75," a challenging solo piece that musically painted the pictures of different types of trees, including the aspen, birch and solitary fir trees. This was followed by the Edward MacDowell "Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor," with Dr. Atzinger as the soloist and Dr. Paddleford acting as the orchestra on piano. This piece shows how the same instrument, the piano, can be used in many versatile ways, drawing out many different colors and textures.
As interesting as it was to hear the different sounds of the piano, it was the second half of the concert that inspired much of the audience. Beginning with Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" and continuing on to many works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, both Atzingers proved they could ensnare the audience with a single note.
It appeared as though the Atzingers acted as one and needed no outward communication. They worked flawlessly together, phrasing and shaping the music in perfect harmony with each other.
"We have spirited rehearsals and our friendship enhances our performances on stage," Dr. Atzinger said.
One of the goals of all recitals is for the students in attendance to come away having learned something, whether it is about performance techniques, repertoire placement or the balance of multiple musicians. This particular recital featured all three in various forms.
"The recital showcased three roles of the pianist," Atzinger said. "One as solo pianist, one as soloist with orchestra, and third, as a collaborative pianist. I think it's important to be able to do all three."