On June 10, the Art Hall of Chongqing Opera House staged a special immersive symphony concert, “Wonderful Night in Concert Hall.” It offered an opportunity to be charmed by the symphony, the highest-level manifestation of music.
At 7:15 p.m., the symphony concert began with the string quartet of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” a song from The Lion King’s animated film.
Most of the visitors were parents and their children. They first entered a creative music market with the help of the map and staff.
The market comprised five chamber music groups, namely string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass-wind instruments, percussion instruments, and color instruments. As parts of the symphony orchestra, these groups were located in different areas of the first floor.
At the coffee shop, Wang Ruoqi, chief of the percussion instruments group, played the song “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the marimba. Though it was extremely difficult to play, Wang won a big round of applause for his superb performance. In the make-up room, the song “March of Steel Torrent” was played on a trumpet, creating a military parade atmosphere for the National Day celebrations. In the historical gallery of Chongqing Opera House, the Japanese animated fantasy film Spirited Away theme song was played on the woodwind instrument. The music of the well-known song attracted many parents and their children.
Quite a few curious children moved close to the artists to scrutinize their instruments and asked about music.
In an interval between two performances staged by the woodwind instruments group, a girl in school uniform took her oboe and requested the artist Li Yan to teach her. Surprised, Ms. Li asked the girl to play a song with her team in unison.
“I have been playing the oboe for half a year,” said the girl Zheng Aixuan, a fifth-grade student from Chongqing Tiandi Renhejie Primary School and a member of the school’s chorus. She came to the concert immediately after the music training class. When asked why she chose the oboe, which is not in popular demand, she answered, “Its sound is elegant and beautiful. Besides, my teacher told me it is difficult to learn this instrument. I like things that are challenging.”
In the interval between the music market activities and the formal Art Hall performances, Guo Xiuwu, permanent conductor of the Chongqing Symphony Orchestra, introduced every part of the orchestra and displayed their respective musical features. Each performance won the laughter and applause of the audience, including the opening song of Xinwen Lianbo (lit. News Simulcast, main evening news broadcast produced by China Central Television), the theme song of the game Super Mario, “A Man Should Better Himself,” which is the theme song of Wong Fei-hung series of films, and the excerpt about elephants from “The Carnival of the Animals” by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
Later, the orchestra, composed of more than 60 members, played “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,” created by British composer Benjamin Britten for the science and education documentary Instruments of the Orchestra. The performance showed how the orchestra members competed and cooperated to achieve a harmonious symphony. It enabled those who do not know about orchestral music to feel the charm of the symphony. In addition, there was a written description for every music clip, so “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” is known as a symphony for science and education.
The symphony concert ended with the cheerful “Kang Kang Music” conducted by five children from the audience.
“Chongqing Symphony Orchestra launched this immersive symphony concert in its 2022 Concert Season. It aims to bring the symphony closer to the public,” said Liu Guangyu, President of Chongqing Opera House. “The event will be staged another three times, helping more people learn more about the symphony and feel its charm.”
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