Tuesday, April 9, 2013

TSO on 2009/01/12: Tan Dun

Because of drum music of “Night Fight” from movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, A-Mao started being interested in Tan Dun’s work. Tonight’s overture is “Forbidden City” from the opera Marco Polo. As a composer, Mr. Tan seamlessly conducted the orchestra to his ideas of contemplation, and this piece were explaining what his philosophy of music is, western one plus eastern one is not two but one. The following is “Paper Concerto” for Paper Percussion and Orchestra. It is fantastic that paper sheet, paper screen, paper box, paper pipe, paper bag & paper umbrella as well as Chinese folding paper fan could be played as instruments. In addition, members of the orchestra can speedily change the pages of their scores to make humorous sounds. The main soloist, Haruka Fujii, performed perfectly, and TSO was accompanied her well. Then, the audience cheerfully clapped this concerto, which is better, according to my personal opinion, than wonderful “Water Concerto”.

The Map, Concerto for Cello, Video and Orchestra, reminded A-Mao of lyric of Qu Yuan’s “Nine Songs” as well as experience listening to and watching Ensemble Modern played Steve Reich’s “Different Trains”. This multimedia masterpiece contains 9 movements in 4 sections, featuring a different aspect of the traditional music of Tujia, Miao & Dong people in Hunan. The most touching movement to me is the 7th, Stone Drums, in which two stones are played with different angles to make various tones, followed by a percussion quartet of previous, the same video footage. The cello soloist, Richard Bamping, from England plays on a Guarneri and interprets Chinese music element without fail. Great performance! But it is sad that we had no encore played by the Guarneri.

The Map

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