VietNamNet Bridge – The concert “The Four Seasons”by the HCM City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra (HSBO) will take place at the HCM City Opera House, No. 7 Lam Son Square, District 1, on July 19.
The concert will have the participation of veteran violinist Stephane Tran Ngoc through two performances, The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and Distant Light by Pēteris Vasks, accompanied by HBSO orchestra with conductor, Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach.
Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons throughout the years has been a staple piece in various programs, stages, and collaborations by a host of talented performers, local and international, including the likes of Bui Cong Duy, Sarah Chang, securing an almost irreplaceable spot in audiences’ choices.
Composed in 1723 and ever since considered one of the most daring works from the Baroque Period, The Four Seasons are complete concertos individually, yet when put together they make a perfect unison, likethe seasons: Spring as vivid, elegant with nature’s whisperings, Summer as peaceful songs under the sun, as sudden, powerful tornadoes representing the infinite power of Nature, Autumn as delightful, emotional outbursts yet not without sorrowful, yearning tunes, and Winter as quiet as a lurking wind, singing of an endless journey, occasionally rioting.
Pēteris Vasks was born in April, 1946 in Aizpute, Lativa, son of a famous Baptist pastor. He studied music at schools, having his early compositions while studying bass at Emīls Dārziņš Music School at Riga (1959-64), then double bass with Vytautas Sereika at Lithuania Conservatory in Vilnius until 1970.
Pēteris Vasks was appointed as the Main Composer of the Stockholm New Music Festival in 1996. The same year, he was awarded the Herder Prize from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation and the Baltic Assembly Prize. Vasks received the Latvian Great Music Award on three occasions: for Litene in 1993, for Distant Light in 1998 and for the 2nd Symphony in 2000. In 2005, he received the Cannes Classical Award for recordings of the violin concerto Distant Light and the 2nd Symphony. He is also an honorary Main composer for many music festivals.
In recent years, Vasks has favoured concertos for solo string instruments and works for string orchestra and string Ensemble, working closely with renowned soloists. In Distant Light, which premiered in 1977 by Gidon Kremer, the possibility of a better “ideal world” is never absent.
Distant Light is nostalgia with a touch of tragedy. Childhood memories, but also the glittering stars millions of light years away.
The opening of Distant Light, which is built in a single span of music, places Vasks stylistically exactly where his geographical origins are – between Pärt and Lutoslawski. The violin line slowly opens out over a gentle bed of growingly confident string tone, part diatony, part cluster. The strings disappear behind the first of three cadenzas, the basses then taking up a beautiful lament as the soloist soars ecstatically above.
A bright-eyed, folk-like dance episode introduces a change of mood and tempo but is abruptly silenced by the second cadenza – which itself snaps to a close as the basses begin another poignant elegy. The third cadenza, with some deliberately ugly sounds, unleashes what one commentator has called ‘aleatory chaos’ before a rather ill-bred waltz stamps it into submission and an extended coda revisits some of the earlier material and lays the music to gentle rest.
“Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul and this is what I preach in my works.” (Pēteris Vasks)
Ticket prices are from VND80,000 to VND550,000.