Sunday has finally arrived, it is time for Pianovers to meet again. Every Sunday evening, a group of like-minded piano lovers meet at the URA Centre for an evening of piano performance, music entertainment and connection with fellow piano lovers. Welcome to Pianovers Meetup #103!
As usual, Pianovers Meetup begins at 5pm with dinners. This evening, Lasantha, Jonathan, Ng Mun Yee and Sng Yong Meng, Founder of ThePiano.SG went to the nearby Maxwell Food Centre for an enjoyable dinner. Lasantha and Jonathan are newcomers, and we were excited for them to join us. Food enjoyment is always a good reason for bonding, and this was what the group precisely did!
Time for an Announcement! The list of performers for Pianovers Recital is out. All 18 performance slots are already sold out, within a day! We want to thank all of our registered performers for your support. We all look forward to having all of you on the stage very soon.
Pianovers Recital is a platform for aspiring pianists to perform. They may come from all walks of life, but their passion for music is indisputable. So, come and support the performances by these enthusiastic pianists! A ticket is $12 each. Free seating. Buy now!
Gavin Koh started the Mini-Recital by performing Thankful by David Foster, and it is the sixth track on John Groban's Christmas album, Noël, which is also known to be his fourth studio album. Gavin wanted to perform this song dedicating to the festive season of Thanksgiving Day, and he performed in a 自弹自唱 style.
Did you know that Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Carribean islands and Liberia? It is a celebrated day for giving thanks to the blessing of the harvest and of the past year. However, Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October whereas, in the United States, Thanksgiving is marked on the fourth Thursday in November. After Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the next Friday is known as Black Friday. It is also regarded as the beginning of America's Christmas shopping season since 1952.
Wesley Chang played two pieces this evening. The first performance is Love by John Lennon and the second is the Londonderry Air (Danny Boy). "Danny Boy" is a ballad set that uses the Irish tune of the "Londonderry Air”, which is a song-like vocal composition that originated from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is most closely associated with Irish communities. "Danny Boy" is also played as the victory anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.
In fact, “Danny Boy” was introduced to Wesley by his piano teacher. Interestingly, he even folded the scores so it can fit nicely into his wallet, and bring it to school to practice the song during recess time. It was such an enjoyable moment to him when his friends and other students crowded around the piano as he performed!
Next to come up to the piano was Pek Siew Tin, who performed みちづれ (冬恋) by 远藤实. First published in 1975, this original song was performed by 渡哲也 (Watari Tetsuya). There is another Japanese version, 冬恋 that was covered by Teresa Teng, who also did a Mandarin version, 山茶花. Moreover, there are many variants of Chinese songs - Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwanese songs that have used this tune.
Our regular Pianover, Albert, performed two Chinese songs. First is "おさらば東京" by 中野忠晴 and second is "啼笑因缘" by 顾家辉. The latter was the theme song used in the 1974 TV series of the same title based on 張恨水's same-titled novel. Originally, the last two characters, "因緣" indicate karma, but the song and movie are often addressed incorrectly as "啼笑姻缘", where that last two characters, "姻缘" indicate marriage.
Young Pianover Chia I-Wen played March of the Little Bears, When The Saints Go Marching In, and Long Long Ago. It is believed that "The Saints" originated in the 1900s from a number of similarly-titled gospel songs. The first known recorded version of this song came about in 1923. It is incredible to see young Pianovers, like I-Wen, perform so enthusiastically.
Jenny Soh performed Ebb Tide by Robert Maxwell. It is often mistaken for the title song of the 1937 film, which coincidentally has the same name. As the title suggests, Maxwell’s ‘Ebb Tide’ features a buildup in the song that is likened to the movement of the ocean waves along the shores. Here's a fun fact - It is noted that ‘Ebb Tide’ and Erroll Garner’s 1954 song ‘Misty’ share the same first three notes; and American musical duo "The Righteous Brothers" did a cover of the song which leads to significant success.
Ellie went up to the piano next. She performed Minuet in G by Christian Petzold. This piece of music was thought initially to have been written by JS Bach; however, it was discovered later to be composed by Christian Petzold. This famous melody has been covered by many artists, including Kelly Chen's "A Lover's Concerto". In fact, her version appears in the 1998 Chinese movie "Anna Magdalena" as its signature song. The movie itself is named after Bach's beloved partner. In it, Chen plays a beautiful woman who enters the lives of two friends, played by heartthrobs Aaron Kwok and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
Ellie then performs another song, A Whole New World by Alan Menken. This performance was accompanied as a duet piece, with her piano teacher Ng Mun Yee.
Tan Jia Hui performed 那些很冒险的梦 by 林俊杰 (JJ Lin). Released in 2011, it is a melancholic love song about losing your love and with that, the pain of pondering on that love and yet you can't relive these beautiful dreams/memories.
Next is Yu Teik Lee, who played a musical game with the audience. He performed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and invited the audience to shout an emotion during the performance. Immediately, the audience took part, and someone shouted "Happy", and he played it in the style that matched "Happy". Next, someone else shouted "Angry" and his notes became forceful. Someone even shouted, "Sad"! What a fun and interactive performance! He ended his performance with 欢乐今宵 by 黄丹仪.
Kendrick Ong Bing Shao performed a classical tune first, Mazurka in B flat major, Op. 7 No. 1 by Chopin. Next, he played another tune complimenting to his classical selection for this evening, Humoresques, Op. 101, No. 7, Poco lento e grazioso (G flat major) by Antonín Dvořák. Op.101 is a piano cycle composed in 1894. According to David Hurwitz, the seventh Humoresque is probably the most popular small piano work ever written after Beethoven's "Für Elise". In the United State, Dvořák's Humoresque No. 7 even became the backdrop for a series of mildly obscene comic verses about passenger train toilets.
Shane Tan was next on the piano, and he performed The Longing Dance by Gaemi. This song was used in the 2018 South Korean TV Series "Are you Human?" Part 3 Original Soundtrack. The TV Show is based on a renowned scientist, who was forced to part with her young son. To cope with loss over the years, she builds various AI robots modelled after him. Decades later, someone tried to assassinate her son. He survived but sliped into a coma. To protect his position as the heir to a chaebol, the renowned scientist sent one of the AI robots, Nam Shin III to take her son's place and fulfil his duties.
Shane performed the next song, Demons by Imagine Dragon. It is great to see so many supporters cheering for him today. Well done!
Victoria Chew first performed Dolphins, then the Monkey Mates and subsequently, Mighty Aussie Mozz. Victoria came today because of her piano teacher Lim Woan Ling, who brought her to this evening's meetup. We are pleased to see teachers bringing their students here for an out-of-classroom experience, which allows them to have an opportunity to build their confidence for public performances as well as the chance to know and connect with other fellow pianists. In fact, Woah Ling also brought Shane, who was the performer before Victoria's turn.
Hiro and Li Zhijing performed a duet performance, Polka Italienne by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This beautiful music was written in 1906 and published in his Suite No.2, Op. 17, which is a composition for two pianos. Sergei Rachmaninoff was remembered to possess the largest hands in classical music, to the extent of being able to span up to 12 piano keys. In 1943, Rachmaninoff was diagnosed with lung cancer which led him to be critically ill due to a lifetime of heavy smoking. What a sad ending to one of the greatest pianists in this lifetime!
Peter Prem, with Joshua Peter on his Bass Guitar, went up to the piano next and played Sock Hop Boogie and then, Pharaon by Gipsy Kings. We previously announced that there would be a new format for our Mini-Recital. From Meetup #101 onwards, there can be ensemble performances. That means performers can play the piano and another instrument, including vocals. While we explore the versatility of the piano with additional instruments, the number of such ensemble performances will be capped. It was amazing to see father and son duo delivering entertaining musical pieces.
It was Jeslyn Peter's turn to perform, and she played a catchy tune, Rest of My Life by Bruno Mars. Do you know that Bruno Mars' original name is Peter Gene Hernandez? He has sold over 130 million records worldwide, earning his place as one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has also released seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since his career launched in 2010, earning his first five faster than any male artist after Elvis Presley.
Giselle Teh was next to perform, and she played her own music composition, called Summer Night. This piece is the last in her set, which contains pieces based on the four seasons. In June 2018, she joined "International Competition for Performers – Composers, Oskar Rieding ( Slovenia)" and won a Gold Award, with her Cherry Blossom piece from her set, recorded in Meetup #67. We hope to see more composers rising up to show us their original compositions in future Pianovers Meetups!
Lim Ee Fong played "Those Were The Days", which is a traditional Russian piece. Ee Fong has joined us since Meetup #72 (March 2018), and has performed 22 pieces to date! Her enthusiasm and passion for piano is admirably very strong, and we definitely want to hear more from her.
Following the completion of the Mini-Recital, the evening moved to the Open Segment. It was time to take a group picture, and many Pianovers got together for the photo! After the photo session, many started to jam on music and had a great time connecting with others. The Bass Guitar continued to be played on by few Pianovers and jammed along with piano music. We want to thank everyone for attending, and we hope to see you next Sunday!