Review: Concert[hhmc]


ALBERT TIU Piano Recital

National Gallery Facebook Live

Last Saturday ( June 27)

Singapore is slowly but surely coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic circuit breaker period. Live concerts with live audiences have yet to commence, so online concerts have become a godsend.

The concerts presented by the National Gallery Singapore bring to mind London's National Gallery recitals organised by Dame Myra Hess during the Blitz years. Those were a morale-boosting salve for a populace under siege, albeit of a different kind.

Singapore-based Filipino pianist Albert Tiu's recital, dedicated to Singapore's healthcare workers, was conceived as a response to artworks by Liu Kang and Chia Yu Chian.

Playing on a Shigeru Kawai grand piano from his living room, Tiu opened with a short prelude, the Happy Birthday song in the style of a Chopin waltz.

Three of Liu Kang's Studies Of A Nurse, simple pencil sketches, prefaced slow movements from famous piano concertos. In these, Tiu skilfully wove solo piano parts with orchestral accompaniment so as to be seamless performances. The first of these came from Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23, a melancholic aria in F sharp minor in the gentle rhythmic lilt of a sicilienne. Deeply reflective and almost tragic in countenance, the music tugged at the heartstrings.

The spirit of Mozart lingered in the slow movement from Frenchman Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. It is an elegant slow waltz which one wished could go on forever. Its textures and harmonies gradually get complex to a point Tiu begins simulating three hands at play.

The right hand's piano filigree, the left thumb's melodic line (singing a woodwind tune) in tandem with accompanying harmonies from the other fingers was an intricate and delicate juggling act. It was also fascinating to view these sleights of hand from a video camera's overhead perspective.

Through all this Tiu maintained utmost composure and poise, with nary a note nor beat out of place.

Packing in even more notes was the slow movement of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto, the only major work dedicated to a psychiatrist. The Russian composer had recovered from depresRead More – Source

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