Friday 13 November 2009

At the National Concert Hall

A note from Liang-Yen to say that he wasn’t sure I would have to write the music. He talked to the director and now I have to wait another ten days before getting any confirmation.
Went to a tribute concert  to Taiwanese composer Nan-Chang Chien by the Taiwan National Symphony. My friend Kun-lin provided me two tickets which I gladly accepted although I had no idea what I was going to hear. Some symphonic works and two song cycles for soprano, the first of which was quite interesting. He’s supposedly a celebrated composer here in Taiwan. His music was eclectic, to say the least, a mish-mash of various influences ranging from American minimalists to Wagner! One song from the second cycle was a strange sonic adventure which started like a neo-Puccini aria before turning into a big Tannhäuser-like moment. I didn’t understand what my ears were hearing!
Another gimmick Nan-Chang Chien uses is to have one single note played by different instruments one by one, to a very comical effect - especially since the instruments were not top-notch precise when it came to pitch…
All in all, it was not the greatest musical moment of my life. I’ll go to the National Concert Hall again next week, this time for an Italian evening. Film soundtrack by Nino Rota and Ennio Moricone and opera intermezzi…
It will be long before we hear Stockhausen here!!!!

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