We are happy to have been able to share some of the music pieces from our “debut programme” entitled “Heaven + earth, Beauty + love” at St John’s Cathedral on Wednesday 31st August. It was wonderful to spend time with beautiful music and with friends and fellow music-lovers from across the city of Hong Kong, on the last day of August, the day before school (or real work) starts for most.
We presented 4 beautiful choral pieces written by Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Brahms and Fauré. And for the final piece, we were particularly pleased to have given what we think was a Hong Kong first performance of the ravishing “Only in Sleep”, written for 8 voices by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, and although the composer wasn’t there, we were delighted that Stephen Layton, who knows Eriks well and premiered much of his work and really set the standard for excellence on this piece (as in many), was with us.
The words of the song are still with us:
“Only in sleep I see their faces, children I played with when I was a child, Louise comes back with her brown hair braided, Annie with ringlets, warm and wild.”
“The years had not sharpened the smooth round faces, I met their eyes and found them mild. Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder, and for them am I, am I too a child? Am I a child, Oh, Oh, a child. Oh, Oh, am I a child. Oh, a child. Am I a child? A child.”
And these were the words Eriks wrote us:
There is almost nothing more to say except to repeat those pure words written by Sara Teasdale in this poem that to remember the years of our childhood and to remember the children we played with is like a precious diamond that makes our life beautiful and so dear.
We are happy to have been able to present 5 pieces that happen to represent a span of almost 220 years, from Mozart’s 1791 composition to Ešenvalds’ 2010 (the piece was published in 2012).
The discerning in the audience may notice that all the pieces were in major keys (D major, E flat major, followed by another E flat major, then D flat major, and finally G flat major). We have no idea how we managed to choose our programme that way, and it was fascinating to see how the different composers modulated into minor keys quite often in some of the pieces (but always returned to the major key with which each of the pieces started). It may nonetheless be why a few people have told us our presentation of the music was warm and uplifting. As for us? We love all 5 pieces!
Here is a PDF version of the programme booklet for this 2016 summer concert.
And here is our pre-concert introduction to the programme.
Thanks for all your support and see you next time for our full programme!