Immortal Vivaldi: The Four Seasons with Violinist Stéphane Tran Ngoc
(VNF) - Veteran violinist Stephane Tran Ngoc will perform in Ho Chi Minh City in the evening of July 19th with a fabulous programme of baroque masterpieces, including Vivaldi’s magnificent Four Seasons and Distant Light by Pēteris Vasks, accompanied by HBSO orchestra with conductor, Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach.
Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons throughout the years has been a staple name in various programs, stages, collaborations by a host of talented performers, local and international, including the likes of Bui Cong Duy, Sarah Chang, itself securing an almost irreplaceable spot in the audiences’ choices.
Composed in 1723 and ever since considered one of the most daring works from the Baroque Period, The Four Seasons are complete concertos inpidually, yet when put together they make a perfect unison, like the unseparatedness of the seasons: Spring as vivid, elegant with nature’s whisperings, Summer as peaceful songs under the sun, as sudden, powerful tornadoes representing the infinite power of Nature, Autumn as delightful, emotional outburts yet not without sorrowful, yearning tunes, and Winter as quiet as a lurking wind, singing of an endless journey, occasionally rioting.
Distant Light is nostalgia with a touch of tragedy. Childhood memories, but also the glittering stars millions of light years away.
The opening of Distant Light, which is built in a single span of music, places Vasks stylistically exactly where his geographical origins are – between Pärt and Lutoslawski. The violin line slowly opens out over a gentle bed of growingly confident string tone, part diatony, part cluster. The strings disappear behind the first of three cadenzas, the basses then taking up a beautiful lament as the soloist soars ecstatically above.
A bright-eyed, folk-like dance episode introduces a change of mood and tempo but is abruptly silenced by the second cadenza – which itself snaps to a close as the basses begin another poignant elegy. The third cadenza, with some deliberately ugly sounds, unleashes what one commentator has called ‘aleatory chaos’ before a rather ill-bred waltz stamps it into submission and an extended coda revisits some of the earlier material and lays the music to gentle rest.
“Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works,” Pēteris Vasks said.
The concert will take place on July 19th at HCMC Opera House (7 Lam Son Square, D.1)./.