Community, Edge, Music

Thomas Mesa tugs on heartstrings with #CelloLove

With bow in hand and piano at the ready, Mesa and Ivanchenko took to Beethoven with ease and enthusiasm. Akin to a puppeteer pulling the strings on a puppet, Mesa’s bow crisscrossed the hearty cello’s bridge to illicit mesmerizing melodies. As a true master of his art, Mesa would bend to every long note as he conveyed each crescendo with careful intricacy.

A colorful performer and personality, Mesa even coordinated lighting changes inspired by a New York performance by Donald Nally’s Crossing Choir, a Grammy nominated ensemble. The cellist mentioned that when given the chance, he would love to replicate the effect at his own recital.

“Gusman was the perfect venue for it— it has all the color you need for it.”

As the stage turned from yellow to blue and purple, Mesa brought Debussy’s melancholy and longing alive onstage with each stroke of his bow while the piano line imitated the soft sound of a snowflake flurry in the dead of night. The audience, receptive to Mesa’s masterful interpretation, breathed every bittersweet note he interpreted through his cello. There was no applause until the end of the first half of the program— a true testament to the cellist’s extraordinary ability to extend himself through music. It’s also the reason why he is quickly becoming established as one of the most versatile performers of his generation.

Versatile doesn’t even begin to cut it when one sees Mesa’s socks, however.

The chamber musician, who has soloed with the Cleveland Orchestra and toured internationally with Itzak Perlman deviates from most classical performers in many senses, but particularly in his choice of socks— ones of the rainbow-striped variety.

received_243765113238388.jpeg

Thomas Mesa playing Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G Minor. Photo credit: Anastasiya Plotnikova

But Mesa continued to surprise the audience as the concert progressed into the second half of the evening, featuring Rachmaninoff’s Romantic “Sonata in G minor” as he begins to vocalize— a pure and clear tone in perfect tune with the cello.

Mesa, a Cuban-American and Miami native now based in New York, put together a program featuring works by Beethoven, Debussy, Schumann and Rachmaninoff. In a program highlighting the romantic and heart-tugging qualities of a cello’s vibrato. Mesa explained that the four movement Rachmaninoff piece, “Sonata in G minor”, was the inspiration behind #CelloLove.

“It’s all about Romanticism. It’s about loving the sound of the cello and the piano,” he said.

The main purpose of music from the Romantic period, which lasted from the 1780s until 1910, to pay tribute to the expression of emotion— a message that clearly motivates Mesa’s intimate and endearing tango with his cello.

Katrina Burkhardt of South Miami, a frequent Frost concert attendee and fervent arts supporter, said she couldn’t help but notice how much a cello can tug on our heartstrings— especially when someone like Mesa pours his heart out to the audience.

“With the cello, your heart can always take flight,” she said.

Mesa ended the concert by inviting the Frost cello ensemble onstage to play Astor Piazolla’s tango-esque piece “Oblivion,” a crowd favorite featuring deep vibratos and gripping lines characteristic of many romantic tango instrumentals. “Oblivion” teetered between the red-hot passion of two lovers in a tango and the bitter edge of their love lost.

The command of the 11 cello ensemble earned them a standing ovation.

For more information about Frost’s upcoming performances, visit news.miami.edu/frost/events/index.

February 12, 2019

Reporters

Anastasiya Plotnikova


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Canes find themselves in the mix for a couple o ...

It was May 2015, and the Miami Herald was reporting for a feature on high school football players ab ...

Deidrick Stanley had his eye on the Miami Hurricanes long before his hometown school finally offered ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ UM has only two Rivals.com five-star recruits on the ...

Even five months ago, it would’ve been hard to picture Jaylan Knighton winding up with the Miami Hur ...

A former UM professor started a company dedicated to publishing books on African-American culture, h ...

A group of School of Architecture students visited the Caribbean nation to learn about the historic ...

Faculty with the Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science w ...

Patricia “Trish” White, dean of the School of Law, is stepping down at the end of the academic year. ...

At the annual Hug the Lake, sustainability manager Teddy Lhoutellier was honored for improving the e ...

Michael Amditis tied a career-high with three hits and a homer to help the #24 Canes sweep FIU. ...

Miami earns sixth seed in Cle Elum Regional, hosted by the University of Washington. ...

The Hurricanes will open an eight-game homestand with a midweek matchup against crosstown FIU on Wed ...

Talking Track is a series that features current members of the Miami track and field program, while ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame announced that Trajan Bandy is the 26th recipient of the ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.