Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Dressed in a beautiful purple dress and sounding just as gorgeous, Annie Searcy ’08 played her senior flute recital last Saturday in Lang Concert Hall. She had fabulous control of her instrument throughout the varied and fun. Searcy was bright and clear when she needed to be as well as hushed and reserved and ultimately provided the audience with a wonderful night of music.
The program opened with Copland’s Duo for Flute and Piano, which gave a soulful and moving introduction. The music recalls Copland’s earlier, wonderful, and accessible works such as Appalachian Spring. The mournful second movement was played especially well with Marcantonio Barone giving an exquisite accompaniment on the piano for this piece and throughout the program.
The second piece before intermission, Eric Ewazen’s Ballade, Pastorale, and Dance for flute, horn and piano was also a piece that Searcy clearly loved. Searcy last played it at a Fetter concert in the Fall of 2006 and a recording of the performance happily resides on my computer. The piece is full of emotion, beauty, and grandeur with a touch of melancholy in the second movement. The conclusion of the third movement transitions into a dance bursting forth with such energy that made me smile and giddily happy. It is clear that Searcy, and Bryce Wiedenbeck ’08 on horn, love playing it and they gave a wonderful performance.
After intermission Searcy took us way back before the 20th century which dominated the rest of the program to Handel’s Sonata in B Minor, HWV 367b for flute, cello, and harpsichord. The seven movement piece moved from being mysterious, grand, sad, and stately. Throughout the piece Searcy often added her own ornamentation to the playing, as would be common in Handle’s day. Her playing was always exciting and was given accompaniments by John Bailey on harpsichord and Jenna McCreery ’10 on cello.
The program concluded with Prokofiev’s Sonata for Flute and Piano. Searcy gave a very good argument for it being “the best piece ever written for the flute.” Since the piece is technically demanding, it is musically exciting. I especially enjoyed the last movement with their fast and beautiful arpeggios and unstoppable power and energy. It was the perfect ending to a very wonderful senior recital and a wonderful evening of flute music.