Concerts You Have Missed Vol. 8 No. 2

Pianist Tony Siqi Yun’s recital in Hong Kong began with number 6 of Busoni’s transcription of the 10 Chorale Preludes, which Bach originally wrote for an organ and which were collected in his Orgelbüchlein, the “Little Organ Book”. It was then followed by the third piece of Liszt’s Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude”, a thoughtful and expressive substantial statement of faith that is a bit different from the usual virtuosity that one would imagine of the composer. The next short piece, “Wasserklavier”, from Berio’s 6 Encores, was written in a late 19th-century chromatic language that resembled the Romantic period. The last piece on the programme was Brahms’s formidable masterpiece with convincing techniques and musicianship. The concert was brought to a wonderful close with Stravinsky’s “Infernal Dance of King Kashchei” from the Firebird as an encore.

A breathtaking recital with a finely balanced programme was demonstrated by Tony with much energy, insight and maturity.

Rising guitar star Plínio Fernandes gave a captivating Hong Kong debut, a concert filled with the vibrant, distinguished and colourful sound of this romantic instrument.

Starting from the first set of Renaissance pieces from Dowland, which were originally written for the lute, he then moved on to Sor’s beautiful variation of Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte. The rest of the programme, including his encore, showcased pieces from Chilean and Brazilian composers and altogether exemplified the guitarist’s mastery of the string instrument, drawing the audience into the dazzling world of Latin American sensations. The encore was Sergio Assad’s Aquarelle: II. Valseana.

Duo Fiesta was a collaboration between Duo Ping Ting and HKDuo for a concert with captivating showpieces for four and eight hands (with two pianos). Vantage was grateful to interview (published in this issue) Duo Ping Ting and pianist Julie Kuok (of HKDuo) to find out more about performing in a professional four hands setting. Just by looking at the programme itself – pieces from Mozart, Mendelssohn, Franz von Suppé, Johann Strauss, Charles Gounod, Guastavino, Liszt and Shostakovich – this was guaranteed to be an exceptional opportunity to explore multi-handed piano repertoire.

A concert with much virtuosity from the two duos concluded with two encores. The first was “If We Would Play Again”, for eight hands on one piano by Julie Kuok, while the second was “Turkish Rhapsody”, an arrangement by V. Gryaznove on W.A. Mozart’s Turkish March.