by Sarah Luna
I got to see Itzhak Perlman perform today in Rudder Auditorium. I had heard about him coming to A&M a few weeks ago, and I was really excited to get the chance to see him. Then I found out that student tickets cost $50. I kind of gave up on going at that point. But while I was studying biochem in the annex today, I thought to myself that I can’t let myself not see arguably the greatest violinist alive just because I didn’t want to spend $50. That would be silly. So I rushed back to the dorm, got dressed up, and went to buy my ticket.
Here’s the beautiful part of the story. Whenever patrons can’t use their tickets, they donate them back to the University for students to use. So I actually got one of these donated tickets. Things like this make me want to be really successful just so I can give back to the students. Anyways I sat next to the lady who had donated the ticket (she and her husband had bought the tickets back in June, but then they got divorced). She had played violin since she was 10, so she was very excited to be there. She also graduated from A&M and now inspects all of the science labs. I made sure to thank her for donating her ticket.
The performance was phenomenal. Mr. Perlman was accompanied by Rohan De Silva on the piano. The program included J.M. LeClair’s Sonata for violin & piano in D Major, Strauss’ Sonata for violin & piano in E flat Major, Op. 18, and Messiaen’s Theme and Variations for violin & piano for Modere. For the first sonata, I thought that the piano kind of detracted from the sound of the violin. However, after that, the piano and violin melded beautifully. Just watching his fingers on the violin was incredible. They constantly moved and only used up a tiny bit of the neck. And the sound….when he played, I pictured a ribbon coming out of the top of the bow and forming shapes in the air. At one point, I thought he was going to run over his fingers with the bow. My donor didn’t even think there were notes for what he played.
The printed program was excellent, but my favorite part of the performance was when he started playing additional works. These were shorter works which he introduced before playing. My donor explained to me that these were simpler pieces that he could have fun with. He had a good sense of humor and cracked jokes about each piece (this was composed by Martini who died in such and such year supposedly of liver failure…). He played pieces by Martini, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, as well as the theme of Schindler’s List. Absolutely gorgeous. I am so glad I went.