VMO News

VMO Chamber Orchestra Concert: A Tribute to Louis Royce Liu

On November 18th, 2011, Filed in: Reviews

BY LLOYD DYKK, the Vancouver Sun

Nov. 13 saw the first concert of the Vancouver Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra which, at about 25 musicians, represents about half of the regular VMO membership. There’s something about a chamber-sized orchestra that inspires deep affection. Many composers, it seems, reserved their finest works for this small size.

The concert was a tribute to Louis Royce Liu who for four years was chairman of the VYO and who died of cancer last April. Conductor Ken Hsieh spoke warmly of him, praising him for his generosity, largeness of spirit (his house was always open for a party) and his love of music. The works on the program largely reflected Liu’s taste and they were far from sober.

Indeed, why should they be?

Hsieh conducted the majority of it with his winning style and no-nonsense stage manner. Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba started things off with its densely ceremonial feeling. It was beautifully sustained, and that also applied to Isaac Walton’s two grave pieces for strings from his Henry V, ably led bt the VMO’s assistant conductor Kemuel Wong. The fast jumping phrases of Gluck’s Dance of the Furies from Orfeo ed Euridice also had their effect, being precise and hyper-energetic.

A highlight was the young pianist Qiao Wang, who must be about the age that Mozart was (in his teens) when he wrote the Piano Concerto No. 8 in C Major. This was astonishingly polished playing, mature and without a misplaced note. The slow movement reflected just what Mozart said of legato style: that it should flow, “like oil.” This girl’s looking at a bright future.

Sing Tao Daily Review

On November 18th, 2011, Filed in: Reviews

大都會管弦樂音樂會 華裔明日之星彈奏名曲

November 12, 2011

為紀念大都會管弦樂團已故主席劉凌雲,該樂團定於11月13日(星期日)下午2時在溫哥華西區馬吉中學(Magee Secondary School)音樂廳(6360 Maple St.),舉辦追思音樂會,藉此延續及傳承該團的「感恩」與「回饋」精神,以「秋懷樂音」懷念這位陪伴大都會樂團成長的音樂人。

這場追思音樂會由創團指揮謝建得親自擔任指揮,帶領溫哥華本地的華裔鋼琴演奏明日之星王巧(Qiao Wang,圖),演出《莫札特第八號鋼琴協奏曲》(Lutzow),作曲家華爾頓(Walton)、韓德爾、科普蘭(Aaron Copland)等大師作品。其他曲目還有韓德爾的《亞歷山大盛宴》(Overture to Alexander’s Feast)、華爾頓《莎士比亞》劇作「亨利五世」的兩首曲目、莫扎特《第八號鋼琴協奏曲》及《第29號交響曲》(Symphony 29)、科普蘭《寧靜城市》(Quiet City)等。

該團助理指揮Kemuel Wong將為愛樂人士解說演出曲目。

購票及查詢詳情,請致電604-876-9397;或登入www.vmocanada.com及電郵tickets@vmocanada.com ,也可前往Tom Lee音樂中心的烈治文及溫市中心辦公室購買。

World Journal Review

On November 18th, 2011, Filed in: Reviews

VMO饗宴「秋懷樂音」

November 14, 2011 記者江先聲溫哥華報導

溫哥華大都會交響樂團(VMO)13日在溫市Magee中學音樂廳演出「秋懷樂音」音樂會,呈現豐盛秋收般的喜悅。這是樂團本年度首場室內樂音樂會,室內樂講求精緻,這又是午間音樂會,因此這一頓秋收饗宴,端出的是一道道精緻點心。韓德爾(G.F. Handel)的「希巴女王駕臨」掀起序幕,來自神劇「所羅門王」的此闕小步舞曲風格小曲,輕快而華麗,是挑動味蕾的精美前菜。接著是現代英國作曲家華爾頓(W. Walton)為「亨利五世」電影配樂的選曲,沉澱著深厚歷史感,好比暖人心脾的濃湯。

古典德國作曲家格魯克(C.W.R. Gluck)歌劇「奧菲歐與尤麗狄茜」的「復仇女神之舞」,加插一道辣味小點心。

然後是上半場的重頭戲─「音樂神童」莫札特的第八號C大調鋼琴協奏曲,華裔年輕女鋼琴家王巧,與樂團天衣無縫展現靈巧絕倫的演繹,有如簡單而經典的義大利麵。

下半場首先登場的是巴哈的「G弦上的曲調」,是大都會樂團已故主席劉凌雲最愛的作品之一,凸顯這次音樂會主題是懷念劉凌雲陪伴樂團成長的歷程,表示感恩。這首清澈晶瑩的小曲像是滌淨味蕾的雪葩。

美國現代作曲家科普蘭(A. Copland)的「寧靜城市」,穿插小喇叭和低音雙簧管的獨奏,像是細細品嘗下不乏驚奇的乾酪拼盤。

壓軸「主菜」是莫札特的早期傑作第29號A大調交響曲,像是嫩牛排配以略帶酸澀的紅酒。前來捧場的著名樂評家戴克(Lloyd Dykk)則認為,此曲像又脆又甜的蘋果,也就是甜點了?可見曲目讓你發揮無窮想像力!

創團指揮謝建得(Kenneth Hsieh)這次指揮了各首古典風格的樂曲,帶來耳目一新的演繹,副指揮黃國豐(Kemuel Wong)為其他樂曲執棒,共同呈獻了一場不一樣的音樂盛宴。

Read more:世界新聞網-北美華人社區新聞 – VMO饗宴「秋懷樂音」

The Nutcracker

On October 15th, 2011, Filed in: Reviews

by Lloyd Dykk, the Vancouver Sun

This Christmas could have been the one that the Grinch stole. A recent financial crisis made Ballet BC break tradition by deciding not to import a seasonal Nutcracker, and the Liberals’ cuts in arts grants meant there would be no professionally-sung Handel’s Messiah this year either.

Enter Vancouver’s Goh Ballet with a brand new locally-produced The Nutcracker at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, which opened on Dec. 17 for five performances. Overseeing the production were Chan Hon Goh and choreographer Anna-Marie Holmes, each an illustrious former prima ballerina.

The cuteness factor in this remounting is very high, with a real-life magician playing the strange Dr. Drosselmeyer, who brings the nutcracker to life for little Clara on Christmas Eve, and some 200 young dancers from Lower Mainland dance schools who are included in a spectacle that involves 95 dancers, acrobats and performers. That’s in addition to about 30 musicians playing Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score in an orchestra pit barely big enough to accommodate that many these are players with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by the estimable Kenneth Hsieh, just back from a successful first visit to Paris where he conducted the famous Lamoureux Orchestra. Here the smallness of the pit band wasn’t really a problem: despite a thinness in violin tone (there were only four violins), it in fact lent a distinct intimacy to the ballet.

Cuteness is to be expected, since The Nutcracker is the family show of all time, but without beauty as well it would count for very little. The visiting principal dancers from the National Ballet, Sonia Rodriguez and Piotr Danczyk, saw that classical purity was a primary concern with their exquisite line and partnership. So did Danielle Gould and Vlademir Pereira and everyone else. This is much more than the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, toy soldiers, scurrying mice and pas de deux, trios and quartets. It is an enchanting show and the full house ate it up. The run was said to be all but sold out.

The Goh Ballet plans to make its production of The Nutcracker an annual event, and on the basis of this premiere, it should. This is what Christmas is all about: charm, tradition, and freshness within that tradition. A lot of love has gone into a production that you’d expect to see in New York.