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2015年9月15日 星期二

Cirque de la Symphonie (交響馬戲團)

Throughout the history of the circus, music has been indispensable. We would see acrobats perform the most incredible feats, often with comical antics, trapeze artists  with or without balancing rods, walking the tightropes two or three storeys above ground, others doing double or triple mid-air somersaults on flying swings before being caught by their partner's precisely timed hand grips, with and sometimes without safety nets, wild beasts like elephants, tigers, leopards, lions doing balancing acts etc often to the sound of drum rolls at climactic moments and then more relaxing but lively music before and after those unbelievable feats. That would normally happen under huge colorful tents and later under the canopies of giant stadia. But last Saturday, the context seemed completely reversed. We had the downsized HKPO members playing various pieces of French and Spanish music (written by French and Russian composers!),Russian ballet music and German light music on a stage which was specially fitted with two huge metal frames more than a hundred feet high so that at the time that we heard the music, we would also be regaled by the spectacle young body contortionist artists doing their incredibly difficult tricks sometimes on one and sometimes on two huge pink silk ribbon(s) high up in the air or on a hastily assembled and dismantled wooden platforms. Music combined with new style animal-less circus, instead of the traditional circus with music!

Conducting for us was the versatile Australian media writer-conductor Guy Noble who already has 12 CD's under his name and entertaining us were Aloysia Gavre, Jaroslaw Marciniak, Andrey Moraru, Alexander Streltsov, ElenaTsarkova, Vladimir Tsarkov, Dariusz Wronski, Christine Van Loo, all members of the Cirque de la Symphonie, the only circus company in the world which performs exclusively with live symphony orchestras which they have done with more than a hundred different orchestras in all parts of the world. As its manager William Allen writes, they add "energy" and "excitement" to the concert experience.


Following closely upon the exciting concert the previous week in which we had the world premiere of Tan Dun's music, the excitement continues last week with the following numbers:
1. Dimitri Kabalevsky's Overture of the Colas Breugnon
2. Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune from his Suite Bergamasque (with Christine Van Loo on Aerial Silks)
3. Rimsky-Korsakov's Parts IV & V of his Capriccio Español Op. 34 (with Aloysia Gavre & Andrey Moraru in Tango Duo)
4. Georges Bizet's Gypsy Song Act II of Carmen Suite No. 2 (with Vladimir Tsarkov on Ring Juggling)
5. Bizet's Torreador Song from Carmen Suite. No.1 ( with Alexander Streltsov in Juggling Spinning Frame and Cube)
6. Piotr Iyich Tchaikovsky's Valse from Act II of his Sleeping Beauty Suite Op. 66a(with Elena Tsarkova in Contortion Dance)
7. Camille Saint-Saëns' Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah (with Aloysia Gavre on the Aerial Hoop)
8. Zequinha de Abreu's Tico Tico No Fubá (Dragon) (with Vladimir Tsarkov & Elena Tsarkova doing an incredibly fast change of costume within a second)
9. Emmanuel Chabrier's España
10. John Williams' Devil's Dance from Witches of Eastwick (with Andrey Moraru performing Hand Balance)
11. Dimitri Kabalevsky's Galop from his Comedians (with Vladimir Tsarkov doing Electric Juggling)
12. Jacques Offenbach's Can Can from his Orpheus in the Underworld (with Elena Tsarkova in Ribbon Dance)
13. George Antheil's : Hot Time Dance
14. Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Valse from his Swan Lake (with Alexander Streltsov & Christine Van Loo in an Aerial Duo)
15. Jean Sibelius'  Finlandia (with Jarek & Darek demonstrating the tautness of their bodies in various impossible positions)
16. Johann Strauss II's Thunder and Lightning Polka op 324.









































All the pieces were light hearted, festive, mischievous, exciting and seemed perfectly designed to put one into a pleasant and relaxed mood. A wonderful evening.