By Anabel Stickney
Students, guests and faculty gathered in the Gentile Gallery for a duet piano recital by juniors Damian Galasso and Stephan Williams on Nov. 7.
Galasso, a biology major with many musical accolades from competitions in Arizona, and Williams, a philosophy major and frequent vocal accompanist at Franciscan, shared their talents on a grand piano for an audience.
Professor George Melhorn from the music department began the program by welcoming Galasso and Williams to the stage and introducing them. He assisted the students in the arrangement of the recital and provided instruction during rehearsals.
Williams opened the recital with “Dedicatoria” by Granados, followed directly by “El Pelele” by the same composer. He ended his solo section of the performance with “Fairy Tale in A Major, Op. 3, no. 4” by Medtner.
Williams said, “My favorite part of performing is … showing what the composer has to offer. Each composer has their own musical personality. That’s why I like presenting rare composers, like Nikolai Medtner.”
Galasso began his solo performance with “Polichinelle, Op. 3, no. 4” by Rachmaninov. Next, he played “Prelude from Suite Bergamesque” by Debussy.
“Piano Sonata No. 7 III. Precipitato” provided a dramatic finish to Galasso’s set.
The pair finished their recital with a “Sonata in D Major, K. 381” duet including three acts: Allegro, Andante and Allegro molto.
After their performance, Galasso said, “I really like Prokofiev’s (‘Piano Sonata No. 7’). I’ve been learning this piece for a year now. And it’s just so fun to play.”
“It’s very technically challenging and … if I can play that piece, I’m basically warmed up for the day. So, I like to start with that piece to wake me up and to get my fingers going,” added Galasso.
Their final bows were met with a lengthy, enthusiastic applause.
The event was attended by friends and family of the pianists, including Deborah Breiding, an adjunct piano professor at West Liberty University, who instructed Williams in his piano studies.
Olivia Stewart, a senior film studies major, said “My family is really involved in classical music and we all play instruments, so I really like to listen to other people and what they’ve been working on. I really enjoyed ‘Polichinelle’.”