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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
HARPercussion -vvz

I spent Sunday evening at the Esplanade's Recital Studio catching a concert of chamber music featuring Singaporean concert harpist Katryna Tan, joined by flautist Robert Alvarez and cellist Natasha Junyan Liu. I generally attend performances either because they are known to be good (through reviews and past shows by the same performers) or because they are something I have never seen before and might prove interesting. The Dim Sum Dollies musical that I attended the week before belonged to the former; HARPercussion belonged to the latter.

When I first saw the poster for this show, I figured that Katryna Tan must be pretty good since I have come across several articles about her before. Besides, I am not particularly familiar with music with the harp as the main instrument, so this was a great opportunity to check it out.

It turned out that this concert was in fact one in a series of concerts called Spectrum, whose aim was to introduce 20th century music. The first piece, The Crown of Ariadne, was a solo piece that saw the harpist play a variety of percussion instruments in addition to the harp. One also gets to see unusual ways of playing the harp, such as hitting the strings with drumsticks. While I have no particular preference for abstract music, this piece proved rather entertaining. Perhaps the mythological theme appealed to me. Or maybe the atonal sounds were a refreshing change from what I usually hear around me in the course of my day.

The second and third pieces were duets. The finale was a trio featuring the flute, cello and harp. I especially liked the second movement (it sounded like there were two movements), full of energy, a good selection to end the show with. Overall, I would say I got my money's worth. My friend found the music a little too "empty" at times. I guess he is still not used to modern music; It is an acquired taste. Oh well, at least he enjoyed the cello.

p.s. I think Katryna Tan has a beautiful harp.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
10:03 PM


oh man! I saw the article in Life! (i think) and wanted to go. but it was left at the back of my head for some time.... is it still on going? lol
By Anonymous Wengyi, at 4:29 PM  

It's a one time performance. I didn't know you like this kind of stuff. What other shows you watch? I can call you along if I come across an interest match.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 8:50 PM  

no specific ones. it's a on-off thingy. the last time i went to such was the vienna imperial or something like that (was a quartet)
at Victoria Concert Hall many years what you said, I've never heard a harp, so thought it might be a gd idea.

By Anonymous wengyi, at 1:17 PM  

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