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Faculty recital showcases Brahms’ pieces

Drake University hosts a wide range of recitals and musical events throughout the year. There are the jazz combos in the Turner Center, the musicals in the Performing Arts Hall and the student recitals in Sheslow Auditorium. Every so often, though, Drake brings in more unusual performers.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Drake’s horn teaching artist Guinevere McIntyre performed a recital of Johannes Brahms’ pieces with faculty from nearby Grinnell College, with Eugene Gaub on piano and Nancy McFarland-Gaub playing the violin.

A married performing couple, the Gaubs attended the Julliard School before joining the staff at Grinnell College. Gaub, associate professor of music, has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York, in Vienna, Salzburg and at New York’s Roycroft Chamber Music Festival. Nancy, a Lecturer of Grinnell College, has also done work in New York, along with her performances in Italy, Mexico and Africa.

McIntyre teaches the French horn at both Drake and Grinnell. Her degrees are from Indiana University-Bloomington where she studied with Myron Bloom, a distinguished horn performer and professor. She has worked with many orchestras including the Charlotte Symphony, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, the South Arkansas Symphony and our own Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.

The trio performed two pieces written by composer Johannes Brahms — a popular composer from the 19th century. The group chose the Sonata for piano and violin in G Major, Opus 78 and the trio for piano, violin and horn, Opus 40.

Though Brahms is considered a classic composer, the combination of piano, violin and French horn is an unusual one. Usually, a violin is accompanied by other strings, and a horn by other brass instruments.

“It’s such a weird combo that sounds unexpectedly cool,” said first-year music business major Jeff Mooney. Indeed, few pieces are written for horn, violin and piano. However, this one has survived the years.

“The piece is challenging and beautiful and very Brahm-ish in the way he creates these beautiful melodies and accompaniments,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre performed this piece earlier in her years in Houston and chose to bring it back once more this fall.

“It’s a lot of fun to play,” McIntyre said.

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