Capriccio Taiwan 台湾追想 by Singapore Chinese Orchestra


A capriccio or caprice (sometimes plural: caprices, capri or, in Italian, capricci), is a piece of music, usually fairly free in form and of a lively character. – Wikipedia

Mike and I were lucky winners in a SCO Facebook contest for this concert. We decided to treat his parents to it, not knowing if they would enjoy a live SCO concert.

I am  a new convert fan of SCO since attending a YES933 anniversary concert there a few years ago. The orchestra has never failed to impressed the few times I have attended their concert.

Last Friday, they had a guest conductor from Taiwan. Su Wen Cheng not only conducts but composed most of the pieces performed on Saturday night. Of all the six pieces, I most like those that were composed by him, perhaps because the pieces depart away from the traditional and sound more contemporary, while retaining their Asian background.

As a layman listening to the compositions, I try to visualise the music with the help of the programme notes, whether it is singing to the beauty of home, or the beauty of spring, to the flight of the swallow.

I was impressed by the opening number, Capriccio Taiwan. I thought the melodious first section make good music for my meditation practise. The third section, where the composer makes uses of the distinctive sound of the percussion…to portray a bustling atmosphere, although rousing, somehow spoils the mood. Perhaps that’s why orchestra music are often divided in sections and appreciated for their distinctive sectional difference.

Another impressive performance was the opening number after the intermission. Chang Chung Li gave an amazing solo of the pan flute 排笛. In Chinese musical instruments, a wind pipe that is played vertically (like a recorder) is called Seow 箫and one played horizontally (like a flute) is called Di 笛. Rightly, a pan flute should be known as 排箫.

The player plays the pan flute by sliding the flute below the lower lips. I asked Mike wouldn’t the musician get abrasion, and then we saw him sprayed something on the flute, then slide the instrument to lubricate it just before he blowed on it.

The pan flute has no air holes and produces difference pitch by blowing on the different length of the pipes. Thus the melody sounded staccato.

Chang, sporting an asymmetric haircut with a slanted fringe – much like the shape of his instrument, played three different sizes of pan flutes. The composition, also written by Su Wen Ching was a delight to watch.

Nowadays, I try to give the gift of experience instead of material goods to the young ones, so that they will cherish and remember the experience. Many Asian older folks don’t attend concerts, unlike their western counterparts, or younger generation, perhaps due to their frugal lifestyle and erroneously prefer spending on things rather than experience.

My in-laws thoroughly enjoyed the concert on Saturday night and I hope they will take their own initiative to attend more of such. One is never too late to enjoy life, and enjoying life is more than just eating.

Thank you SCO for this wonderful experience.

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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