Pianovers Meetup #104 Digest

Pianovers Meetup #104 Digest

As evening arrives on today's event, Pianovers gather for the 104th Pianovers meetup. Piano lovers of all ages and genders are always present at these Meetups; today is no exception. The event, as usual, started with a dinner at 5pm and today, we had Gavin joining Sng Yong Meng, the Founder of ThePiano.SG.

Pianovers Meetup #104, Amos Ko, John, Jessie Quah
Pianovers Meetup #104, Mayuri, Sophie Yang, and Jeremy Foo
Pianovers Meetup #104, Tammy Lee playing

Following a delightful dinner, Gavin and Yong Meng made their way back to the URA Centre, where Pianovers were already gathering and connecting with one another. Pianovers, then, begin to jam as soon as they could, and the Urban Park, immediately, was filled with piano music as they waited for the 6.30pm introduction and announcement by Yong Meng. We also want to thank our beloved Pianovers for bringing goodies to share with everyone.

Time for Announcements! Pianovers Meetup #106 will a Christmas-themed Meetup on 16th December 2018. You are all encouraged to play Christmas related tune pieces; of course, you can still choose to play your favourite tune pieces. To match the Christmas-themed Meetup, wear green, red, or white for a nice group photo! Also, there's no Meetup on 23rd and 30th December 2018. So, Meetup #107 will be on 6th January 2019.

Pianovers Recital 2018

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!

Pianovers Meetup #104, Gavin Koh performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Ellie Yang Zi Xuan performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Pek Siew Tin performing

Kicking off the Mini-Recital was Gavin Koh. He played A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square by Manning Sherwin. This famous romantic British song was written in 1939 and published in 1940. The music setting takes place in Berkeley Square. It is a large town square with lots of greenery in Mayfair, in London West End, in the City of Westminster. In fact, Berkeley Square was originally a residential area, but now, it has turned into office areas with the only remaining residential block on the square - number 48. Allegedly, 50 Berkeley Square is haunted. It became known as one of the most haunted houses in London in the late 19th Century.

Gavin then played another song, Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael, who composed this popular tune in 1927, and later, Mitchell Parish added the lyrics into the song in 1929. This song is one of the most recorded songs in the 20th century.

Next, Ellie Yang played two songs, Rondolla Aragonesa by E. Granados and Pirate of the North Sea. Ellie was recently introduced to our Meetup because of her piano teacher, Ng Mun Yee, who was also here today. We are happy to see teachers bringing their students here for an out-of-classroom experience that provides them with an opportunity to build their confidence for public performances. The outdoor exposure also gave the students the chance to know and connect with other fellow talented pianists.

Next to come up to the piano was Pek Siew Tin, who performed Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber. It is a popular Christmas carol, whose lyrics was written by Joseph Mohr in 1818. The small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria is famously known as the birthplace of this beautiful carol. This town was also named as transcendent cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. This music carol was first performed at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria on Christmas Eve 1818. Do you know that this carol has been translated into 140 languages?

Pianovers Meetup #104, Albert Chan performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Mentari, and Desiree performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Jeremy Foo, and Teh Yuqing performing

Another regular Pianover, Albert Chan, played 车站 By 林垂立 and 少女慈禧 By 钟肇峰. The latter is a theme song used in the 1983 HK TV series. The lead actress, 刘雪华 rose to popularity and fame because of her role in the TV series. The TV show narrates the story of the first half of Empress Dowager Cixi's life. The Empress was selected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her youth. Her son, then, became the Tongzhi Emperor after the Xianfeng Emperor's death in 1861, and she became the Empress Dowager.

Next was Mentari and Desiree's turn and they performed итальянский сувенир (Italian Souvenir) by Yuri Krasavin. It is fascinating to see how a piano teacher can positively influence the repertoire of her students. Mentari and Desiree learned under a Russian piano teacher and therefore, are exposed to Russian culture-themed musical pieces. And we are fortunate to listen and be introduced to these pieces through Pianovers Meetup!

Jeremy Foo and Teh Yuqing went up to the piano next. They performed Petite Suite L 65, 4th movt (Cortège) by Claude Debussy. The "Petite Suite L 65" is a suite for Piano four hands and covers a total of 4 movements. This magnificent duo had performed three movements before. Today, they performed a full finishing touch, with the last missing movement. Jeremy and Yuqing are one of the examples where Pianovers found their duet partners in our piano community. Since then, they have been performing many duet pieces.

Pianovers Meetup #104, John performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Pauline Yong performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Tammy Lee performing

John played Father By Lee Hyun Seung. This song was originally performed by In Soon, and featured in her 2009 album. In Soon is known as one of the best female singers in Korea. She has the best vocal ability to vocalise all genres from pop, ballad, dance to disco, jazz and trot since her debut 30 years ago.

Pauline Yong played "The Darkened Valley" by John Ireland, which was composed in 1920. John Ireland was an English composer and a music educator. Unfortunately, he passed away at age 82 due to heart failure in 1962. John's composing techniques were very similar to most other Impressionist composers, as he preferred small forms and did not compose symphonies and opera tunes. In 1959, John rejected the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry that rewards contributions to the arts and sciences.

Tammy Lee performed Arabesque, Op. 100, No. 2 by Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmüller. Friedrich Burgmüller composed a total of 25 etudes for the piano during his lifespan. In his 25 Etudes, the compositions inspire creativity among new piano players as they normally find it boring and tedious to do finger technical exercises by Czerny and Hanon. His 25 Etudes makes it exciting and enjoyable for pianists to perform. Tammy then performed Für Elise by Beethoven. Für Elise is one of the most famous compositions by Beethoven. However, it was not published in his lifespan, and was instead discovered by Ludwig Nohl, 40 years after Beethoven's death.

Pianovers Meetup #104, Jeremy Foo, and Ashley Nguyen performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Janice Liew performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Helping hand from Pek Siew Tin, for Mayuri

Jeremy Foo and Ashley Nguyen played Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is a song dance for a ballerina, and is the third movement in The Nutcracker pas de deux, which is from Act 2 of the 1892 ballet The Nutcracker. Marius Petipa, the choreographer, wanted the Sugar Plum Fairy's song to reflect alike of "drops of water shooting from a fountain." In 1891, Tchaikovsky discovered the ideal instrument to achieve this in Paris; it was the newly invented celesta. This instrument looks like a piano, but it sounds like a bell.

Janice Liew performed two songs. The first was 月亮代表我的心 (The Moon Represents My Heart) by 翁清溪 (Weng Ching-hsi) and second was Be Thou My Vision. The latter is a traditional prayer song from Ireland. Its words are based on a Middle Irish poem connected to the sixth-century Irish Christian poet Dallán Forgaill. These words were credited probably later after that.

Eleanor Hull translated the lyrics to today’s best-known English version and published it in 1912, with some minor alterations. Since 1919, this song has become regularly sung with the Irish folk tune "Slane."

Mayuri Gupta performed Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, Toccata by Johann Sebastian Bach. Although it is an organ piece, it is not performed on the organ exclusively. The title page of the first publication of the piece indicated that one or two players could perform on the piano. Carl Tausig's piano transcription of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor was performed four times in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig from 1868 to 1881. As a matter of fact, Louis Brassin's, Ferruccio Busoni's, and Max Reger's transcription were meant for piano four hands.

We also want to thank Siew Tin for quickly responding to Mayuri's situation. Siew Tin held the pages while she performed because her score pages were flipping due to the strong wind. It's sweet and heartwarming to see Pianovers helping one another!

Pianovers Meetup #104, Jessie Quah performing
Pianovers Meetup #104, Group picture
Pianovers Meetup #104, John playing

Jessie Quah came up next and performed Cristofori's Dream by David Lanz. This is David Lanz's seventh studio album. It was published in 1988, and was his only album to reach the top Billboard's "Top New Age Albums" chart, and to hit #180 on Billboard 200. This album was named and dedicated to Bartolomeo Cristofori, who was highly regarded as the piano's creator.

Following the end of the Mini-Recital, it was Open Segment time. This is the moment for Pianovers to take a group photo and then, connect, chat and jam on the piano. It's also great to see young Pianovers playing and having fun together!

Pianovers Meetup #104, Amos Ko, Sng Yong Meng, and Jeremy Foo
Pianovers Meetup #104, Young Pianovers having fun
Pianovers Meetup #104, Tammy Lee playing #2

Furthermore, it was very nice to have Tammy and her family with us again, as they came over from Johor Bahru, Malaysia. See you all in the next one!