Violinist Will Knuth performed “An Afternoon with the Violin” on Nov. 11 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cazenovia. (photo courtesy St. Peter's Episcopal Church)
Parish Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cazenovia was transformed from a large room to an almost intimate salon for the recent performance, “An Afternoon with the Violin,” second in the church’s newly established concert series. The concert series was created to offer spiritually enriching events free of charge to the community. On Sunday, Nov. 11, American-Albanian Syracuse University professor and pianist Ida Tili-Trebicka expertly accompanied on a Steinway grand piano violinist Will Knuth, who began his studies in the Central New York area.
What a remarkable event! The overflow crowd was attentive and utterly mesmerized by the excellence, virtuosity and brilliance of this duo. The violinist made each string sing creating intensely beautiful, deeply resonant and high-pitched sounds that were stunningly serene, transporting the listener to a stratospheric, magical zone.
The program began with G.F. Handel’s “Violin Sonata in F Major.” Without exception, each movement was executed with technical perfection with lovely melodic lines and dialogue with the piano. The Baroque master’s sonata did not disappoint. Knuth’s flying fingers totally owned both allegros. The more sensitive, almost romantic adagio and largo sections had many audience members melting with pleasure.
The W. A. Mozart “Violin Sonata No 18 in G Major” consisted of allegro con spirito and allegro. This prolific classical composer wrote complex and challenging violin scores which Knuth performed flawlessly. The piano accompaniment provided superb support for Knuth’s virtuosity.
The “Sonatina in G Major” of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak was introduced by Knuth who alerted the audience to the subtle appearance of American folk tunes skillfully woven throughout the four movements. The violinist exhibited flawless technique again in both descriptive melodic and vivace passages.
Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebeslied and Polichinelle” completed the program. Kreisler himself was a famous violinist whose compositions illustrated allowed to Knuth to demonstrate his ability to play with astonishing speed, as well as the more sensual melt-your-heart and go deep-into-your-soul sections.
Responding to a standing ovation, Knuth and Trebicka gave one final gift: “La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin” by Impressionist master Claude Debussy. While the final note lingered in the air, no one clapped until that glorious sound faded into the heavens. Bravo. Brava. Bravissimo.
Pianist Tili-Trebicka is the music director, pianist and organist at St. Peter’s Church. Violinist Knuth, graduate of Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, has performed nationally and internationally.
Meredith Limmer is a teacher, musician and member of St. Peter’s Church.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.