Concert Review, Life, Music, Travel

Music Review of 新高采烈 Asian Cities Choral Exchange

Just heard about this and got my hands on a fab music review of the December 2015 concert I guest conducted in Taiwan! Thank you Xiao Jing Wen for the wonderful review!
2015的平安夜過得很幸福,因為在高雄市最美麗的大東文化藝術中心聆聽【新高彩烈 — 天生好友城市交流 (一): 新加坡】音樂會。指揮鄭維誠Albert Tay、唐天鳴與天生歌手合唱團將音樂做了最動人的詮釋,讓演藝廳裡迴盪著充滿情感的音符。誠如匈牙利作曲家&民族音樂學家&音樂教育家Zoltán Kodály柯大宜的信念:「音樂是每個人都能享有的財富,要將最好的音樂帶給最多的人。」,身為聽眾的我確確實實感受到最美麗的聲音,最好聽的音樂。
指揮 Albert 和天生歌手合唱團的默契非常好,在他的引領中,團員將每首曲子詮釋得絲絲入扣,而且能夠享受在舞台上分享音樂的喜悅,也可以觀察到他是以最好的教學法來教授音樂和唱歌,將渴望得到更好的音樂的熱忱傳達到團員的心靈。很特別的是,雖然他不認識觀眾,卻能瞬間以幽默的口語表達、創意的教學技巧,成功帶動所有人參與了「相思」的演出,彷彿大珠小珠落玉盤的雨聲和天生歌手合唱團交織成最美麗的篇章。




A Musical Feast for the Spirit by Xiao Jing Wen (Translated from the above original text)
2015 Christmas Eve was a happy affair, because of the Asian Cities Choral Exchange (Singapore) at Kaohsiung’s finest Dadong Cultural Centre. Conductor Albert Tay, Tang Tien Ming and the Natus Cantorum created some of the most moving of musical interpretations, making the concert hall resound with their emotive notes. True to the Hungarian composer, musicologist and music educator Zoltán Kodály’s philosophy “music should belong to everyone and one should bring the best music to the greatest number of people.”, sitting amidst the audience I did indeed felt the most beautiful of voices and the most soothing of music.


This concert was full of exciting multi-cultural elements – ranging from various sacred music like “Laudate Dominum”, to cheeky Hokkien folksong “乒乒乓乓娶新娘”, to a sentimental song that seeks cartharsis for one’s sadness in “Friend” to the surprising audience engagement of “Longing” “相思” etc. All these were presented through emotionally charged performance, displaying the confluence of cultures, affording us a glimpse and  greater understanding to different people.


The camaraderie between Albert and Natus Cantorum was fantastic. Under his leadership, the choristers neatly and meticulously nailed the intricate interpretative details, their joy of being onstage and sharing music was evident. One can also observe that he used the best pedagogy to teach music and choral singing and helped inculcate a greater desire for better music in his singers. Of note, he did not know the audience but could in a manner of seconds, using humorous communication and creative pedagogy, successfully engage the audience in the participation of the performance of “Longing”. The marriage of Natus Cantorum’s singing with the sounds of raindrops big and small was one of the most beautiful chapters of this concert.


This was a musical feast for the spirit, showcasing the beauty of multi-culturalism, giving us a chance to feel the power of spirituality and tranquility, sentimental songs that seek cartharsis for one’s sadness, a meeting of peace and ecstatic joy, of relaxing carefree participation. One can’t help but feel that the heavenly music gifted us with warmth and well-wishes as we left the concert hall!


Author: Xiao Jing Wen (Kaohsiung Education Radio Host)
1. 46th and 47th Broadcasting Golden Bell Awards Nominee for Arts and Cultural Programmes
2. 14th Cross Straits News Prize Broadcasting Focus Topic Commendation
3. National  Society Humanities Distinctions: Classical Literature and Spiritual Growth
4. National Parent-Child Education Plan Merit Award