The New Sounds from City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong contributed to the second concert of Musicarama, on October 8 at Kwai Chung Theatre Auditorium with featured composer Dobrinka Tabakova (Bulgaria/UK). The Western poetic and pleasant melodic feeling was dominant, the thought provoking was incidental.
Seven pieces have been performed by the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, conducted by Jean Thorel. “In focus” (1999) and “The Quest” (2010), Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by the featured Bulgarian composer, Dobrinka Tabakova, were the highlights of the concert. “In focus” was inspired by the idea of representing camera work in slow motion, though music suggested some beautiful melody, soft-spoken and slender feeling. It also showed the composer’s explosive and innovative ability in transforming visual images into music. In her concerto piece, “The Quest”, the music is pleasant as film music but less challenging, you will wonder if you were at the right place. Although there were some beautiful melodies, nice musical flow and tension in the beginning, later on the very average orchestration and the static chord progression with frequent runs of major chords reiterating over the piece have loosened its attraction and spirit in contemporary music.
The companion pieces here “Fall Mirage” by Tang Lok Yin was a soulful piece with beautiful counterpoint. The composition was rooted in her reflections on the poem, “Evening Waterfall” by Carl Sandburg. The music captured and conveyed the essence of expectation. “Flow” for 12 musicians and tape by Wu Li Ying was an affecting piece, filled with luxuriant electronic sound, colourful sound landscape and special orchestration techniques. Concerto for Cello and small orchestra by Therese Brénèt, was a lyrical piece with a bright ending. The cellist, Artem Konstantinov was highly skilled, well prepared and has added a lot of colours in the piece. “Flying Ink” by Stephen Yip was inspired by the Chinese painting technique, “Ink Splashing”. You would find his creation of using music to “paint” the vision of his mind is remarkable appealing. The staggering sonority design filled with oriental sound, tender blending timbres and sensuous glissandos on strings and brass has drawn the hidden Chinese beauty richly and thoroughly. The final piece, “Sunrise” by Christopher Hung captured the vivid image of the rising sun. It had some dramatic passages and gave the ensemble fanciful music.