You may be curious to know how Hong Kong musicians would do on Baroque period instruments. Here’s the chance.
The concert features some young Hong Kong musicians who have moved on from playing modern violins and cellos to the relatively unchartered territory of playing period violins and more exotic viols. While I definitely won’t say these instruments ancient – the music played is dating far less than a millenium and many period instruments are replica of older instruments – these instruments are hard to manage. Remember the fact that Baroque viols were replaced modern violin family for brighter tone colour and precision and they were wiped out of the musical scene effectively in the late eighteenth century. The baroque violin, often on gut strings, is weak and mellow; the viola da gamba, which resembles a modern cello, is even weaker and extremely quiet. These instruments were designed in small room for a small audience, and when music is moved to bigger courts and houses and concert halls, they were removed from being used.
The revival of interests to early music is certainly one of the most exciting thing happened in the past century. With just a few decades the repository of early music grows tremendously; great musicians emerge and inspire generations of musicians. Hong Kong may be a bit slow in this territory within Asia, certainly much slower than Japan, but lately I have met some passionate Hong Kong musicians that make the early music scene here a vibrant one.
And here is one of the concerts by Early Music Society of Hong Kong, a budding society made up of young musicians in proliferating early music. The programme includes music well known masters Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach, equally well known Henry Purcell, Marin Marais and Georg Muffat, and a relatively lesser known Anton Huberty who played viola d’amore in Paris and made his name in his time with his musical engraving instead of performance. You may encounter a variety of early instruments in the ensemble of viols, viola da gamba and violoncello da spalla.
Concert will be appropriately held in a small lecture hall of Sheung Wan Civic Centre on May 7, 2013. The concert features musicians Lam Tim-wai, Jamie Jim, Wu Kiu-lap, Derek Chan, Selena Choi, Monica Johnston and Joyce Wu. Click on the concert poster and visit their Facebook page for more information.