Our 2022 “songs and sonnets” concert: a beautiful and lyrical evening, a musical salon recreated in Hong Kong

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We thought we were “doing some Chopin” in February, but Covid meant even “Chopin” (and Viardot and Liszt) had to wait, and we then thought we would be doing it on 1st July – and in fact, we had the full Dress Rehearsal done with the typhoon looming over us – but a typhoon had other ideas.  We are overjoyed to finally “give Chopin away” this Thursday, 7th July, in City Hall’s Theatre.

We had a beautiful and truly lyrical evening sharing with you songs after songs – with and without words – from a repertoire that we love.  It was wonderful to discover that despite Covid reschedule and typhoon delay, there are people in Hong Kong who love the repertoire we shared on Thursday … and let us be clear, we performed 6 songs with words all of them in German or French, set on the poetry of Jv Goethe, Victor Hugo and Alexander Pushkin (translated into French), amongst others, and including 2 songs by a not-really-known female singer-composer Pauline Viardot, both of which we think we are giving the Asian first performance.  Of course of the songs without words, we do know that Chopin’s Barcarolle, Etudes, and Ballades, amongst others are well-loved.  

In the process of preparing for this concert, we also discovered that Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann (from Book 1 of his Years of Pilgrimage) is a piece that is very close to Warren’s heart, that Yoonie loves Saint-Saëns (we already knew she loves Hahn), that Sylvia still has Chopin Ballades 2 and 3 to go in terms of giving the set of 4 an “airing”, and that both Richard and Daniel are wonderful star-dust sprinklers!

By the time Sylvia was on stage with Warren performing Fauré’s Après un rêve, we could feel magic in the air.  

We have been overjoyed to hear people’s love for the idea of a Parisian Music Salon in Hong Kong.

We are also very happy to be able to present not one but two pieces with the cello, let alone the Largo from Chopin’s cello sonata (Chopin having penned a very small number of works that are not written for the piano, with his cello works featuring prominently on that list).  

We are also very happy to have started the concert in E major and ended it in A major, both graceful keys, with Rachmaninoff’s Romance for 6 hands that comes across as a before-its-time extemporisation on the slow movement of “Rach 2”!  (Well, it’s fun to pretend to play the Rach 2 with the help of 2 other pianists and all the pieces requiring only 5 mins of work!).

By popular request, we are releasing the script of Daniel’s Introduction to this Music Salon which you can find here.  

 

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