July 16, 2006

广乐余韵 The Cantonese Chamber

15 July 2006, Singapore Conference Hall - presented by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra

The performers: Ni Huiying and Li Junsheng (well-known cantonese opera artistes from China) Yu Qi Wei (Gaohu specialist from Guangdong) and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

Conductor: Tsung Yeh, music director of SCO.

Yu Qi Wei

Ni Huiying and Li Junshen

Ni Huiying and Li Junseng sang 5 songs ( 帝女花之香夭, 紫钗恨, 梦会太湖, 2 songs from 花月影 )

Yu Qi Wei led the orchestra with 平湖秋月, 双声恨, 步步高, 旱天雷.

Imagine cantonese operatic songs sung to the acompaniment of a chinese orchestra with over 70 members. Wouldn't their voices be muffled by the sound of the orchestra?

Well, it didn't. Ni and Li are skillful artistes and have strong vocals and their singing and the words of the songs came out clearly. And they sang well. They were in ordinary clothes for the first 4 songs but were in opera costumes complete with make-up for the last song.

平湖秋月 and 双声恨 were performed with the full orchestra and the pieces were rearranged and didn't sound quite the same as the traditional ones.

步步高 and 旱天雷 were performed with a reduced orchestra consisting mostly of gaohu players.... and a yang qin player. These two pieces have more of the original flavour.

旱天雷 was a rousing piece and the last part was very fast-paced. You could see Yu's wrist vibrating, flickering the bow to and fro across the two strings of the gaohu at a frantic pace. Although there were many hu qin players, their movements were synchronous. It was a pleasure to watch and to listen.

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