Tuyen’s works honoured in concert
Man: Pham Tuyen
tries out a new melody on his piano. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
A concert to honour the
works of veteran, composer and symbol of national pride Pham Tuyen is to take
the stage at the Ha Noi Opera House tonight.
Nhung Cung Bac Thoi Gian,
organised by the Ha Noi Union for Literature and Arts, and the Ha Noi Music
Association, is being held in recognition of Tuyen’s long career which has
absorbed the suffering of his people in events of the 20th century and in turn
reflects their pride and determination.
The performance will also
celebrate the composer’s 77th birthday.
A choice selection of
Tuyen’s most famous pieces from the 1950s to the present day will be performed
by Voice of Viet Nam Radio ‘s Band and The Thang Long Dance and Music Theatre
amongst others plus renowned singers.
These works include Mien
Nam Anh Dung va Bat Khuat (Heroic, Undaunted South), Ha Noi-Dien Bien Phu, Chiec
Gay Truong Son (Truong Son Walking Stick), Canh En Tuoi Tho (The Swift Flight of
Childhood) and Nhu Co Bac Ho Trong Ngay Vui Dai Thang (As If Uncle Ho Was still
with Us on the Day of Great Victory).
In his music, inspiration
for Tuyen has evolved with the changes undergone by his country.
His early work relives
Viet Nam’s experience during the nation’s resistance wars, particularly the
In response to the South’s
fierce struggle against the US, he wrote the philharmonic piece Heroic,
Undaunted South and when north Viet Nam sent its first supporting troops to the
south he wrote Truong Son Walking Stick.
His music served to stir
the hearts of the soldiers as they prepared for battle, said war veteran Nguyen
encouraged soldiers across the nation including thousands of youths who
volunteered to join the army and they (the songs) gave us strength to overcome
our difficulties to sacrifice ourselves for national independence and
freedom," Lan recalled.
One of his most poignant
pieces, Ha Noi-Dien Bien Phu, captured the 12 days and nights of brutal air
raids that the US rained down on the capital in December 1972. Much of the city
was destroyed including parts of Tuyen’s house and his piano.
The song, also known by
the nickname "Dien Bien Phu of the Air", compares the heroism of the
people during the bombing with the famous Dien Bien Phu battle that the country
won over the French in 1954.
When war with the US
finally came to an end and Sai Gon, now HCM City, was liberated in 1975, Tuyen
wrote As If Uncle Ho Was still with Us on the Day of Great Victory. The song is
now often sung at public meetings as a show of patriotism and football matches
to encourage the national football squad.
"It is as if the song
helped show the sacred feelings of every Vietnamese in the country," said
reunification in 1975, Tuyen’s work was inspired with the hope of improving
day-to-day life of ordinary people. Among his best known pieces are Tu Mot Nga
Tu Duong Pho (From a City Intersection) which he wrote to promote traffic safety
and Den Voi Nhau Bang Tam Long Vang (Come Together with a Kind Heart) to praise
It’s a path that mirrors
the Government’s poverty reduction and hunger eradication programme.
And the songs certainly
seem to be serving their purpose as a charity fund raiser, Hoang Thi Phuong from
Hai Ba Trung District, commented: "When we go to raise money for support
the poor, we often sing the song together. It encourages people to help each
other very much."
But Tuyen doesn’t just
have an ear for charity and national development. He has also written many songs
for children, which have proved very popular because of their catchy melodies.
"The secret of
writing songs for children is that I try to understand them and try to say the
things that they wish to say," said Tuyen.
In 1997, he published a
collection of 100 songs dedicated to childhood entitled The Swift Flight of
Childhood. It has been warmly welcomed by children nationwide.
During his long career
Tuyen has composed thousands of songs including translations of Russians,
Japanese and Italians pieces.
His is a life that has
encouraged, reassured, and inspired countless people over the past 50 years, an
achievement recognised by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
characteristics of Tuyen’s songs is that they carry the author’s fresh and
trusted sentiment along with images of his country that easily win people’s
heart," an official said.
For his contribution to
the country, he was honoured with the Labour Order, Third Class.
Tickets for the concert
are being issued as invitation only but for those who can’t get their hands on
one, Nhung Cung Bac Thoi Gian is to be broadcast live on VTV3.
For further information
contact the Ha Noi Music Association. — VNS