Chamber music with lots of heart

14 January 2017
The Straits Times, Life, Page D12

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Music Faculty
Lee Foundation Theatre, Thursday

Chamber music is most pleasurable for musicians and listeners alike. Originating from works written for royal court musicians, this evolved into hausmusik (house music) played by members of 19th-century middle-class households for their own entertainment.

A collegial spirit exists in chamber music performance, hopefully allied by excellent techniques and refined tastes. There were strong doses of all that in this concert featuring faculty members of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Music Faculty.

It opened with 20th-century Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s Trio D’Anches for woodwinds, written during the dark years of World War II. It was far from being a sombre work, as oboist Joost Flach, clarinettist Tang Xiao Ping and bassoonist Aw Yong Tian gave a lively reading of it. There were dissonances aplenty and a spicy brand of humour ran through its 10 minutes. The fast outer movements were tautly delivered with pin-point cues and accents, contrasted with a slow and doleful central movement, housing a canon where the oboe carried its tune. A dance-like finale with a witty end completed a fine reading.

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.