Instruments poetically converse

Katie Mastro

Fables, often taught to rowdy youngsters to tame their boisterous and disobedient spirits, have concealed morals and ethics.

At the chamber music recital on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. in the McKinney Theatre, piano, horn, trombone, and violin played various pieces, a few of which were fables.

The fables were all narrated to the audience as the horn and piano danced serenely in the background, painting cosmic scenery.

The horn and piano simulated comical sounds during the fables to provide visual pictures for the audience. Some memorable ones were a bouncing rabbit and a gust of wind.

The music pops up at the end of the Tortoise and the Hare, applauding the tortoise’s triumph over the hare: the audience celebrates the tortoise’s victory with him.

During other moments during the concert, the horn and piano in particular sounded like they were entwined, waltzing together or gibbering in a fretful conversation.

“[In the Suite for horn and piano by Alec Wilder] there is an apparent struggle between the piano and the horn,” said Jacquelyn Sellers, horn. “He asks the question: can the horn really be jazzy?”

During one of the final songs, “Andante,” the soft horn lingers on a billowing cloud, floating whimsically. It supplies a sound remarkably similar to the score in 1988’s British television version of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

However, in an even later song, “Scherzo Allegro,” the violin is in the spotlight. The emotional notes gently crescendo only to fade tenderly away into the darkness. The piano, violin, and horn build up a front for battle when they blast together: they find strength when clapped arm-in-arm together.

Although fables are immensely entertaining for children in particular, they provide valuable messages.

Fables indeed have two purposes, but can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Following in suite of its surprisingly pleasing attraction: recited fables, this concert could have been enjoyed by children and adults as well.