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Sunset Serenade, 15th November

16 Nov 2018

To start the concert, Xinying Huang performed Ebert’s Allegro from Sonate op. 6. Playing with poise whilst maintaining control and balance, it is evident that she had an in-depth knowledge of this piece. Next up was Enjee Jeon, debuting with Joe Hisaishi’s Go With You. From “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”, the song brought deep childhood memories and an abundance of nostalgia which was delivered efficaciously by her emotive and delicate interpretation.

Following was Issa Kon, the youngest performer of the evening.  I had been told that Issa was a “legend” at the piano and, in addition to the large attendance of Carr boys, I was not disappointed as he executed Impromptu in A flat major by Chopin with ease.

Next, on the cello, was Roxan Lim who performed Monti’s Czardas. Although she had introduced the piece nervously, she had a completely distinctive identity when performing. All eyes were easily on her; the vibratos, the dangerous harmonics and the ascents up the fingerboard were done masterfully and effectively, all from memory!

Changing the mood with an entirely contrasting piece, Tan Jean Shen played No. 2 from Kinderstücke by Mendelssohn, having performed it recently for his Grade 7 piano exam. Everyone in the audience relaxed as his calming translation of the piece deeply resonated. Performing 2 very dissimilar songs, Rachel Chan then took to the piano playing a pristine rendition of Remote Xianggelila by Ma Jinfeng and Zhang Nan followed by Debussy’s Minstrels, an energetic piece with complex harmony, incorporating a variety of different and challenging techniques.

Next, Hiro Takami showed us that the saxophone is capable of more than just jazz; he transformed the big-hit pop song Lemon by Kenshi Yonezu into a ballad, with his sonorous tone echoing the corridor magically. His deft use of the third octave, in addition to the disjunct melody is especially difficult on woodwind instruments and he executed it flawlessly.

You Cong was the final performer, presenting the famous Nocturne op.9 no.2 by Chopin. The piece not only requires an extensive range of the keyboard but also a great deal of emotive communication, and it was beautifully fitting to the nocturnal atmosphere that had been created by the sun’s setting.

Hours and hours of practice are required to perform the challenging repertoire that was on offer at this week’s Sunset Serenade to such a high level. Well done to all our performers for this extraordinary evening of entertainment!

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A review by Mikael Hashim (Year 10)