Compilation of the best music performances & Chinese New Year song from our three presenters
That’s a Happy Lunar New Year from the three of us for this first episode of The Works and 藝坊星期天 in the Year of the Dog.
Regular viewers will know that we have live music on our show pretty much every week. Today we’re featuring highlights from the distinguished musicians who came through our studio last year. You may have seen them on the show at the time, but we have something a little extra today as they all also performed something special for just this occasion. Last July, Hong Kong hosted the World Harp Congress for the first time. More than 800 harpists from 50 countries came to town. Among them was Chinese musician Gao Xiaotang, here performing the piece, “Pipa Language” on a very special harp.
Thanks to its range and versatility, the piano is one of the most popular and versatile instruments in music. Over the years, many world-renowned pianists have passed through our studio. Last May, Venezuelan musician Gabriela Montero played us a piece by Schumann. But she also showed us another skill for which she’s celebrated: creating an instant improvisation on a given tune, this time on a Cantopop song 喜帖街 by Kay Tse.
As Montero pointed out while talking to us, classical composers like Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Liszt were all themselves noted improvisers. Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni was also no slouch in terms of adapting the work of other composers into new forms. Among those whose music he transcribed were Liszt, Bach, Schubert and Mozart. Pianist Chiyan Wong, who was on our show in May, is also fascinated by transcriptions. He performed one of Busoni’s Mozart transcriptions for us.
French composer Pierre Gabaye’s composed in the French neo-classical tradition. His music is light-hearted, chirpy and upbeat. Trumpeter Paul Archibald gave us a taster when he played one of Gabaye’s liveliest pieces, “Boutade”. And while we’re on the subject of light-hearted and lively music, the marimba instantly imparts energy to a piece, whether in solo performance, as part of small ensembles, or even with marching bands or orchestras. In December, percussionist Matthew Lau came to visit us. He played a piece by Steve Reich for us, but he also performed, for this week’s show, a piece by Argentinian composer, Julian Rulo.
And to wrap up our musical extravaganza we’re bringing you a highlight from one of the many ensembles we’ve featured. Last April, we featured the Storioni Trio from the Netherlands playing part of Beethoven’s concerto for violin, cello and piano. But they also recorded another treat for us, an excerpt from from Dvorak’s Piano Trio No. 4. Well, that’s it from us for this Lunar New Year Special. Keep watching through the Year of the Dog for more of the best music in town.