September, 25 2012 09:42:53

Norway legend leads VNSO


In tune: Conductor Terje Mikkelsen will lead the Viet Nam National Symphony and Orchestra at the Ha Noi Opera House tonight. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— A night of classical and modern pieces will feature the Viet Nam National Symphony and Orchestra (VNSO) playing under the baton of Norwegian conductor Terje Mikkelsen tonight.

The concert will be the first time the conductor has worked with the VNSO. They will play pieces by classical composers such as Johan Svendsen, Tchaikovsky, Max Bruch, and contemporary Vietnamese composer Vu Nhat Tan.

Mikkelsen has been described by reviewers as "immensely compelling and dramatically powerful", and his control of sound, balance and textures as "masterly".

Mikkelsen graduated from the Norwegian State Music Academy, and then he studied and received his diploma in orchestral conducting from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

He has made 50 recordings with orchestras such as the Latvian National Orchestra, the Ukrainian National Orchestra, and the Lithuanian National Orchestra, and worked at key positions with orchestras around the world.

For his first performance in Ha Noi, Mikkelsen will lead the VNSO to a play new piece titled Ha Noi, Ha Noi... and Ha Noi, by composer Tan.

"It is a plentiful musical piece and an unique combination of piano and percussion," said the conductor after his first rehearsal with the musicians last week.

"The piece is not quite modern work but it is composed with different colours of music. Tan composed the piece for the VNSO. It is very interesting," the conductor said.

The score will be 15 minutes long and not divided into movements. "Ha Noi, Ha Noi... and Ha Noi is a self-reflection of the common daily activities and sounds of personal feelings for the city in which I was born and bred," said Tan.

The city is expanding, more crowded and complex than the place the composer remembers from his childhood.

The score is typically characterised by its overlapping and intertwining melodies and orchestration, creating a bunk of sounds in which a romantic piano melody can be heard against the noisy background of other instruments.

"Such is dedicated to describing Ha Noi," Tan said.

The VNSO will also play the piece Norwegian Artists' Carnival composed by Johan Svendsen (1840 -1911) for the first time. The composer was the first Norwegian symphonic composer, as well as one of the leading conductors of his day.

The work is in standard rondo form and has three main themes, all of them in major keys, including a Norwegian and an Italian folk tunes, as well as a popular Norwegian wedding dance.

Both as a composer and a conductor, Svendsen contributed to setting a new standard as regards the potential of the orchestra. He laid the groundwork for a Norwegian symphonic tradition, and a number of his works will go down as classics in Norwegian music history.

The concert will feature musicians from the VNSO with a solo violin performance by Bui Cong Duy.

Performances will take place tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm at the Ha Noi Opera House. — VNS

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