1999-07-22 Concert

Date: 22 July 1999

Location: Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall

At the end of our first decade on concert stage, we wish to bring our long-time friends in the audience back to our first concert in 1990, and at the same time introduce our most beloved format of a concert to those in the audience who just know about us in recent years. This concert consists of 3 full-length pieces:

    • Bach: Suite No.2 in B Minor BWV1067

    • Shostakovich's String Quartet No.4 in D Major Op.83

    • Dvorak's String Quartet No.12 in F Major Op.96 'American'

Dvorak's 'American' Quartet holds a special position in our repertoire. It was one of the first string quartet piece that we practiced. It was performed in our first concert in 1990. We won the world championship with its Finale. As a conclusion to our first decade of performance, there is not a better choice than to present it once again on the concert stage.

Shostakovich has always been our favourite composer as his chamber music is well suited for harmonicas. While we played the Third String Quartet in 1990, we now present the No.4 which is our first performance of it.

Bach's Badinerie has always been a popular tune for harmonica (or perhaps the mobile phone!). We have actually arranged selections of the Suite No.2 from which Badinerie originates, but have never played the suite as a whole. We are very delighted that our long-time partner Miss Nerissa Yeung joins us at the harpsichord for a more authentic performance of the piece.

Another objective of organizing this concert is to demonstrate the essence of a harmonica quintet. Besides performance at a concert, we believe that it is more effective to do this in the form of a workshop.

Despite the busy schedule of all of us before the concert and little promotion about the concert, we are pleased to see a full-house attendance of the concert and close to 100 people coming to the workshop.

We have received very good response from those who attended the workshop. The majority of them expressed that the workshop has exceeded their expectation and they have gained a lot from the workshop, through a variety of means including slide show, video show and demonstration of techniques of treble, tenor and bass harmonicas as applied to an ensemble, as well as ensemble techniques and interpretation of ensemble music. We have demonstrated how our form of harmonica quintet has opened up a new avenue for harmonica enthusiasts. Through this workshop, we wish to encourage harmonica players and to-be harmonica players to enjoy harmonica ensemble playing, particularly harmonica quintet playing in our form which advocates balanced development of all parts in the ensemble consisting of treble, tenor and bass parts of equal importance.

We would like to thank:

    • Provisional Urban Council in sponsoring this series of concert and workshop;

    • Miss Rebecca Yu and Miss Kitty Lee of Cultural Presentations section of the Provisonal Urban Council who have kindly rendered assistance throughout the preparation of the concert and workshop;

    • the crew of City Hall Theatre and Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre who took care of the technicalities in the concert and workshop;

    • Miss Nerissa Yeung playing the harpsichord;

    • and many other people who contribute to the production of the concert and workshop, including:

      • Wah, the videoman, Simon, the photographer,

      • Graham, the graphic designer,

      • Wilky, the printer,

      • Andrew and Sum who assisted in our practice, preparation and execution of the concert and workshop,

      • and others whom we may have missed.