朋友打電話來，提醒我沒事別出門，但拗不過窗外美麗的雪景， 等風雪較小，我還是決定出門走走，享受一下雪天僅有、 一種難以言喻的靜謐。
祝福大家 虎年平安 福到眼前
|(創用CC 3.0 台灣)
Music Review | New York Philharmonic
Composer as Celebrity, Musician as Martial Artist
(April 11, 2008 New York Times)
It is not often that a performance at the New York Philharmonic generates the buzz that attended Wednesday night’s premiere of Tan Dun’s Piano Concerto. Mr. Tan, whose concert works combine Asian elements with the avant-garde, became an international celebrity when his ferociously propulsive film score for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” earned him an Academy Award in 2001.
Mr. Tan’s concerto was written for the phenomenally popular piano virtuoso, Lang Lang, who attracts devoted audiences no matter what he plays. Avery Fisher Hall was nearly full for the concert, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
In a spoken introduction, the composer Steven Stucky predicted that the concerto would be both a crowd pleaser and a head-scratcher. I’m not sure about the head-scratcher part. Though the 30-minute piece is eclectic, skillfully written and viscerally dramatic, the music seemed to give away most of its secrets on first hearing.
But it is certainly a crowd pleaser. In the best sense, Mr. Tan’s concerto, vibrantly scored for an orchestra rich with Western and Asian percussion instruments, has the entertaining vitality and coloristic allure of his brilliant film music.
In a taped interview that was screened just before the premiere, Mr. Tan said that the concerto was inspired by his love for the martial arts and that Mr. Lang, a pianist he reveres, embodies the qualities of a martial arts master in his playing. The ancient practice, he explained, is an art of seeming contradictions. A stance of physical stillness can convey tension and quickness, and bursts of action can seem cool and deliberate.
Mr. Tan tries to capture this duality in music that veers from passages of stillness to explosions of energy. Each of the three movements is broken up with episodic sections. The piece begins with a low, softly ominous rumbling trill in the piano, over which the orchestra floats pungent, deceptively calm chords that blithely slink from harmony to harmony. Soon the percussion section, alive with pummeling drum riffs, intrudes, prodding the pianist into bouts of fidgety chords and spiraling runs.
The Bartok concertos, with their astringent harmonies and percussive piano writing, seem a model for Mr. Tan here. Yet during extended passages of dreamy lyricism, when the piano plays delicate melodic lines over rippling arpeggio accompaniments that sound like Asian salon music, Mr. Tan seems to be channeling Rachmaninoff.
The orchestral writing is full of striking touches, as when a propulsive episode in the piano is backed up by rhythmically staggered fortissimo chords of slashing strings and clanking brake drums. And Mr. Tan proved good at his word in treating Mr. Lang as a martial artist of the keyboard. In the most hellbent outbursts Mr. Lang played cluster chords with fists, karate chops and even the full weight of his forearms. Yet there are just as many delicate moments where Mr. Lang created spans of fleecy passagework and haunting melodic lines of fast repeated notes, an evocation of the guqin, the Chinese zither.
Mr. Slatkin drew a sweeping, urgent and nuanced performance from the orchestra, and at the conclusion he, Mr. Lang and the elated composer received prolonged ovations.
It was a good idea on Mr. Slatkin’s part to pair the new concerto with Stravinsky’s complete “Firebird,” a score that also combines Impressionistic colorings, folkloric tunes and fantasy. But Mr. Slatkin’s conducting was curiously blatant, fussy and ineffective, with extremes of dynamics that seemed overly manipulated. It was like listening to a poorly engineered CD, when you keep cranking up the volume during pianissimo passages and turning it down during the fortissimo climaxes.