Review: UWF faculty recital ends with standing ovation

By Andre Harrell II
Staff writer

The University of West Florida’s Department of Music hosted a faculty recital featuring Leonid Yanovskiy and Bolton Ellenberg on Monday in the Music Hall. 

An audience of 250 gathered with high anticipation to hear sonatas by Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven performed, and I for one was impressed. At the start of the recital, Yanovskiy took the time to introduce and explain the sonatas that were going to be performed, giving audience members a brief lesson on his take of what he was going to be playing and the mindset of the composers.

From the first note struck, it was clear that Yanovskiy has mastered his craft, and that we were in for a night of musical entertainment. Although performing together for the first time, audience members were stunned by the musical chemistry between Yanovskiy and Ellenberg. It was if they had been playing together for years.

(Photo by Andre Harrell)

Performing emotional pieces can be difficult for many; however, Yanovskiy and Ellenberg played with an undeniable sense of style and grace, filling the Music Hall with great emotion.

“Very emotionally powerful,” Ian Rockette, a UWF student, said. “They are really great musicians.”.

Rockette was not the only one in the room who felt that way. By intermission, Yanovskiy and Ellenberg had already received a standing ovation and had the audience’s undivided attention.

Resuming from intermission, they opened with “Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 10 in G major, Opus 96” by Ludwig van Beethoven. The emotion behind “Allegra moderato,” “Adagio espressivo,” “Scherzo. Allegro” and “Paco allegretto” could be felt all over the room —  so much that until you could almost hear a pin drop — as members of the audience sat in amazement.

“Beethoven and Schubert pieces are full of different shades of total color,” Alona Crigger, a UWF student, said., “Dr. Yanovskiy plays with great sensitivity, and portrays genuine emotion. Passages throughout both pieces are engaging and full of imagery.”

It’s not often that two musicians who have never performed together are able to provide such emotion and imagery. Listening to the beautiful sounds radiate from the Music Hall walls was almost as if Beethoven and Schubert were there, and you were able to see the storylines of life and death through the performance.

(Photo by Andre Harrell)

At the end of the concert, Yanovskiy and Ellenberg received their second standing ovation, bowing before a crowd that did not want the night of beautiful piano and violin collaboration to end. With a smile, and a look of satisfaction, Yanovskiy took center stage to thank all those who had come out to support, the UWF Department of Music, and his guest pianist, Ellenberg, a UWF alumni student.

“I felt it was a great recital and great crowd,” Yanovskiy, professor and director of strings and orchestra at UWF, said at the end if the night. “The energy and emotion of the audience was great.”  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *