Pianovers Meetup #84 Digest

Pianovers Meetup #84 Digest

It’s the 8th of July 2018 and with it we had our 84th Pianovers Meetup! Starting the night were some excited Pianovers, who were gathered early in anticipation of dinner and the event. Newcomers Jonzon, Cindy and Jason, together with Yong Meng, headed over to Maxwell Food Centre for a pre-Meetup catch-up and introductions.

Following dinner, they headed back to The URA Centre. Tonight, we had the good fortune of having some goodies to enjoy. May Ling brought some snacks, to be shared among all Pianovers present. Thank you so much, May Ling!

Yong Meng also took the opportunity to announce an upcoming Pop-up Stall @ Suntec City that will happen on 21-22 July 2018 at Suntec Exhibition Hall 404. Do visit to say Hello and show your support! ThePiano.SG will showcase some of its popular items. These are all piano-themed and comprise fashion accessories, stationery and tableware. There’s bound to be something for you!

ThePiano.SG @ 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals, Luncheon
ThePiano.SG @ 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals, Ma Yuchen performing
ThePiano.SG @ 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals, Ma Yuchen, and Sng Yong Meng

Another great pieces of news was shared - ThePiano.SG is honoured to be invited by People's Association to deliver a piano performance at the Luncheon of the 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals (MGMAC), chaired by Mayor Low Yen Ling, with Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources as Guest of Honor.

This important diplomatic event, held on 7 July 2018 at the Parliament House, was attended by about 40 delegates comprising Mayors, Governors and Heads of delegation from all the capital cities of ASEAN and their accompanying officials. ThePiano.SG is delighted to have our Pianover Ma Yuchen to perform at this event. Yuchen is a second-year student at Raffles Junior College and his performance at such a high-profile event is testament to the professionalism shown by our Pianovers. Indeed, this performance is ThePiano.SG’s latest milestone in a long line of achievements and the next event in our list of public apperances!

Pianovers Meetup #84, Gwen performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Teik Lee performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #84, Siew Tin performing

Following the announcements, the Mini-Recital commenced. Gwen kicked the night off with three performances - Edelweiss by Richard Rodgers, as well as Impromptu in A flat major, Op. posth. 142, No. 2 by Franz Schubert and Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430, Air and variations (The Harmonious Blacksmith) by Handel.

Suite No. 5 in E major is a series made up of four movements. The particular piece that Erika played is the 4th movement, Air and variations (The Harmonious Blacksmith). This movement is made up of a Theme and five variations. The origins of the name "Harmonious Blacksmith" is a mystery. Till today, no one knows who gave this movement its name.

Next to come up to the piano was Teik Lee. Teik Lee played Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. Over the years, this gentle, soothing piece has been used in a variety of situations, including weddings, romance movies and even advertisements. Owing to the sentimental nature of this composition, "Canon in D" was used by a piano store in Morioka-shi in Iwate Prefecture, Japan in its television commercial. In the marriage-themed advertisement, the outflow of emotions was evident as a father played the song at her daughter’s wedding reception. This certainly tugged at the heartstrings of viewers! In this video, the father's love for the daughter was apparent. He took to learning the piano at his age, so that he could play a piece -- a song that was special between the mum and her in the past -- that would be meaningful to his daughter on her wedding day. This musical message would be more touching than a traditional speech. Teik Lee also played a medley comprising 安静 by Jay Chou and 新不了情 by 鲍比达.

Another of our Pianovers, Siew Tin, played 弯弯的月亮 by 李海鹰. Many people had previously asked the composer where he got the inspiration to write this song. 李海鹰 nonchalantly replied that he had written it in his living room, while watching television. He added that he was one who did not miss home. His words probably broke the heart of many of his fans, who had thought there was something more sentimental behind the lyrics.

Pianovers Meetup #84, Albert performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, I-Wen sharing with us
Pianovers Meetup #84, Jenny performing

Albert performed 敖包相会 by 通福. This piece tonight was Albert’s 101st performance. From the first day he played till now, Albert still goes by the principle of not repeating a piece that he has played. Well done, Albert! We look forward to listening to your next 100 pieces!

I-Wen came up to the piano next and performed three pieces, namely Red Indian Dance, Mickey Waltz and Easy Waltz. I-Wen has been playing at our Meetup for the past one year and we have seen how Jenny, her mum, has been patiently coaching her and bringing her here for exposure and performance opportunities. The mother's love for this gal is evident. From Jenny’s example, we can see that parents' involvement in their kid's piano education is very important. Parents should spend more time with the kids than the piano teacher; their encouragement and motivation can most likely go a long way towards helping their kids in their piano education!

Jenny’s guidance for her daughter brings up another heart-warming story in our community. We had another Pianover, Tan Eng Wee, who took to learning the piano at his age and played at our Meetup after some lessons, in order to inspire his three kids, whom he brought along. After performing in a couple of Meetups, all 3 kids started to learn the piano! Such is the father's love for his children!

Following I-Wen’s performance, her mum, Jenny, went up to the piano. Jenny played Solfeggietto in C minor (H 220, Wq. 117: 2) by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was the fifth child and second (surviving) son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach.

Pianovers Meetup #84, Janice performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Gavin performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Rony performing

Fei Dong played two pieces, "Night Pieces, III. Stars" by Peter Sculthorpe and "Ballade in G minor, Op. 118 No. 3" by Johannes Brahms. Among the many compositions that Brahms wrote during his lifetime, a number of them were for solo piano. The "Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118" are some of the loved compositions within this category. The collection was the penultimate composition, as well as the penultimate work in the solo piano category. This collection was dedicated to Clara Schumann and was completed in 1893.

Janice played State Anthem of the Russian Federation by Alexander Alexandrov. As the name implies, this is the official name of the national anthem of Russia. Its musical composition and some of its lyrics were adopted from the State Anthem of the former Soviet Union. This piece was also chosen by Janice a few weeks ago when the World Cup season started and Russia is the host for this year’s World Cup.

Gavin performed The Dream of Olwen by Charles Williams. This was the theme song from the British black and white movie "While I Live" (aka 'The Dream of Olwen’) that was released in 1947. This piece was reprised at intervals throughout the popular film. Till this day, this song is still regularly performed, and the film became widely known as "The Dream of Olsen".

Rony played "我等到花儿也谢了", a popular song sung by 张学友 (Jacky Cheung). This song was written by Li Weisong. After he completed the song, he brought it to numerous record labels, even performing it, but did not obtain the interest he was looking for. Eventually, he went to Polygram Records in Hong Kong. Rony wanted to perform to inspire his daughter -- who had already come with him multiple times to our Meetup -- to perform next time. That was why he took to the stage! Such is the father's dedication! Well done, Rony!

Pianovers Meetup #84, Jeremy performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Jeremy, and Yuqing performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Henry Wong performing

When it was Jeremy’s turn to perform, he certainly did not disappoint. Jeremy played Prelude in F minor, WTC II, No. 12, BWV 881 by JS Bach. This is the 12th prelude and fugue in the second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, a series of 48 preludes and fugues by the composer. It comprises two sets of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, making a total of 48 preludes and fugues.

Next up on the list was a duet, played by Jeremy and Yuqing took their space at the piano. This pair delighted the audience with Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in D major, K.381/123a by Mozart. There are 2 types of duets - when a pair of players plays at the same piano, this is called “four hands”. By comparison, when the two players play on separate pianos, they are known as a “piano duo”.

Henry Wong performed Impromptu in B flat major, Op. posth. 142, No. 3 (Rosamunde) by Franz Schubert. The Impromptus were published in two sets of four impromptus each. The first set was published as Op. 90 while Schubert was still alive. The second was published posthumously as Op. 142 in 1839.

Pianovers Meetup #84, Chris Khoo performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Jonathan Lam performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, May Ling performing

Chris Khoo played Moon River by Henry Mancini. Although this piece was composed a while back, it took on popularity as it was used in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961. The lyrics were written by American lyricist Johnny Mercer. Interestingly, there is a body of water in Savannah, Georgia (Mercer's hometown) that is named "Moon River". This name was given in honour of Mercer and his song.

Jonathan played Sonata No. 13 in E flat Major, Op. 27 No. 1, 1st Movt by Beethoven. There are two compositions in Op. 27. The other, Op. 27 No. 2, is the more famous "Moonlight Sonata". Both were given the description of "Quasi Una Fantasia" (in the style of a fantasy) by Beethoven himself, which to this day, nobody knows why.

May Ling played Salut d'Amour by Edward Elgar, which was originally written for violin and piano. Completed in July 1888, he called it "Liebesgruss" (Love's Greeting) because the language of his then-lover Caroline Alice Roberts was German. It was also adapted in the key of E minor for the 2015 video game Fallout 4 as one of the "Classical Radio Station" songs. It was also made into a song titled “Woo thou, Sweet Music” with lyrics by A.C Bunten.

Pianovers Meetup #84, Brandon Yeo performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Gee Yong performing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Gregory Goh performing

Brandon performed Can Can by Jacques Offenbach. This piece was written in 1858 and became popular as it was used in the opera bouffe named as “Orpheus in the Underworld”.

Gee Yong played 上海滩 by 顾家辉, which was used as the theme song in the 1980 Hong Kong TV series of the same title. This is not the first time that Gee Yong has played this piece and Pianovers have come to recognise this as Gee Yong’s signature piece!

Last but definitely not least, Gregory performed 听海 by 涂惠源. This song originally appeared in 张惠妹 A-Mei’s 1997 album, "Bad Boy". A-Mei is an established Taiwanese singer, having sold more than 50 million records and won the golden Melody Awards for Best Mandarin Female Singer for each of her albums, Truth (2001), Amit (2009) and Faces of Paranoia (2014). These awards also made her one of the singers who won this category the most number of times.

Coincidentally, Gregory’s song about the sea added to the theme of peaceful nature we witnessed this evening, on top of Chris - Moon River, Gee Yong - Shanghai Beach, and Siew Tin - Cresent Moon. What a coincidence! These songs certainly added flavour to the Meetup!

Pianovers Meetup #84, Teik Lee playing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Jeremy, and Jonathan playing
Pianovers Meetup #84, Pianovers chatting #2

The evening proceeded into the Open Segment. This is always a time when bonds are formed and strengthend, and jamming happens! First, we all took the customary group photograph for posterity. Then, it was time to play and connect! As people went up to the pianos to jam, others could be seen chatting and exchanging ideas and connecting with one another! We were happy that Gregory, a piano teacher, brought his students down this evening! The Meetup certainly helped them to open their eyes to the world of music further!