REVIEW / CONCERT
TOY TOY TOY!
re:Sound with Margaret Leng Tan
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concert Hall
After feasting on baroque, classical and romantic repertoire in its first two years, Singapore’s solely skilled chamber ensemble, re:Sound, dived headlong into 20th-and 21st-century music with a vengeance.
This season’s opener noticed the participation of Cultural Medallion recipient Margaret Leng Tan, who has been hailed Queen of the Toy Piano.
It, nonetheless, opened with Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony, a 10-minute banality that delighted in gimmicky results of rattle, chook whistle, cuckoo name, tambourine and jingles performed over the strings.
That nonetheless whetted the urge for food for mayhem to come, with Tan’s entry to plink on her Schoenhut toy pianos for the remainder of the present. She sat on a low stool, however nonetheless towered over her devices.
Opening with solo items by Britain-based American composer Stephen Montague, she confirmed what the fuss was all about. It takes a consummate virtuoso to get across the driving tarantella rhythm of Mirabella and, with the assistance of tape, a gamelan-like orchestral sonority was created in Raga Capriccio, a piece primarily based on the repetition of just some notes.
With 4 preparations for toy piano and string quartet by Milos Raickovich, some avant-garde and massive names had been celebrated. Most acquainted had been the drolleries of Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. three.
Tan then performed on two pianos concurrently in Philip Glass’ Modern Love Waltz, carousing to a Spanish-like rhythm.
John Cage’s Dream was haunting, increase seamlessly like Barber’s well-known Adagio For Strings. Toby Twining’s Nightmare Rag conjured a haunted home really feel and, with its tribute to The Addams Family theme music, had the viewers snapping their fingers on cue.
The music bought denser with a mix of string, wind devices and percussion in Erik Griswold’s Gossamer Wings. Its three actions had lightness in texture with the marimba’s timbre complementing that of the toy piano.
The closing motion noticed percussionist Michael Tan thumping it out on a toy drum-set of his personal. Michael Wookey’s Coney Island Sous L’Eau employed an even bigger ensemble, with a heady reliving of fairground music.
The use of siren and thunder results reminded one in all Satie’s surrealist ballet Parade.
The concert closed with the total orchestra in Montague’s A Toy Symphony (1999), carried out by the composer himself. This was the world premiere of its 2018 model, specifically scored for toy piano half alongside six visitor artists deployed to the kitchen division.
Joining the fray had been the British excessive commissioner and his spouse, a number of orchestral common managers and neighborhood musicians, and veteran comedienne-broadcaster Koh Chieng Mun.
The three-movement symphony was premised on the nostalgia of enjoying with one’s childhood toys in a musty attic. Highly dramatic horror film results dominated the Noisy Toys, Slow Afternoon opening motion, and the viewers bought an opportunity to hiss, shush and bird-whistle within the subsequent actions earlier than the procession of Ghost March, Tin Soldiers At Dawn, which closed the work with a terrific din.
Serious work or not, it accomplished a smashing night of riotous enjoyable.