Soren Frantz / Equinox staff

Haleigh Patch

Equinox Staff

Gabriel Fauré and Ludwig van Beethoven are two famous composers who lost their hearing but continued to compose music. That is what Rebecca Hartka and Barbara Lysakowski, also know as Duo Déjà Vu, decided to perform at Redfern’s Alumni Recital Hall on Sunday, October 7.

The purpose was for the audience to consider the process the artists went through to compose music when they were unable to hear.

Rebecca Hartka is a professor here at Keene State College and has performed for over a decade internationally and in the U.S. She completed a doctroate in musical arts in cello performance at Boston University College of Fine Arts, and a masters in music at BU CFA. Hartka has also released three CDs on Becsta Records.

Barbara Lysakowski was born in Poland, and is an active solo and chamber music pianist in the Boston area and Poland. She enrolled at the New England Conservatory graduate program where she earned her masters of arts in piano performance with academic honors. 

Hartka and Lysakowski are both members of Reve D’Amour, a Boston-based chamber quartet.

Duo Déjà Vu started each piece describing the composer and the special qualities about them and their differences from one another.

First was Beethoven, an influential composer, and the letter he wrote to his family after he found out he was about to become deaf. It was meant to symbolize his bravery, confidence and joy. They performed “Allegro ma non tanto”, “Scherzo Allegro Molto” and “Adagio cantabile-Allegro vivace”.

After the intermission, they performed “Allegro”, “Andante” and “Allegro vivo” by Fauré, a French composer. They described his hearing loss as well, and the differences between him and Beethoven. He composed harmonies that were exciting, but also showed simplicity and a sense of despair.

Hartka and Lysakowski described the syncopation between the cello and the piano as they performed these sonatas together.

Junior Kelly Uselton is a music performance for voice major and has had Rebecca Hartka as a professor. Uselton said she takes cello as a secondary instrument and came to this concert to support her.

“The concert was beautiful and everything they played was exciting,” said Uselton.

She said she started studying music because nothing has resonated with her or interested her as much as music does and she loves it.

Emma Robitille is a music education major and comes to the theatre to see concerts often. She said she initially became a music educcation major because she enjoyed going to music festivals in high school. Robitille said she really enjoyed the concert.

Music technology major Corinne Colgorve attended the concert because she said it looked like it was going to be a great show.

“It was very lively and fun,” said Cologrove.

She attends many concerts at the Redfern Arts Center and also works for the tech crew.

Duo Déjà Vu has been performing together since 2011 in places like the Monadnock Center Bass Hall, the French Cultural Center and Boston Conservatory. The Boston Musical Intelligencer even praised them for their “impressive, lyrical talents” and that their performance “provided a kind of magic.”

Haleigh Patch can be contacted at

hpatch@kscequinox.com