St Bride's: Music - Chu-Yu Yang – violin, Tung Khng Chua – piano

St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals

Chu-Yu Yang – violin, Tung Khng Chua – piano

Friday, 5 April at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection

Chu-Yu Yang – violin, Tung Khng Chua – pianoChu-Yu Yang – violin, Tung Khng Chua – piano

B Bartók

6 Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56

1. Bot tánc / Jocul cu bâtă (Stick Dance)

2. Brâul (Sash Dance)

3. Topogó / Pe loc (In One Spot)

4. Bucsumí tánc / Buciumeana (Dance from Bucsum)

5. Román polka / Poarga Românească (Romanian Polka)

6. Aprózó / Mărunțel (Fast Dance)

G Fauré

Violin Sonata no. 1 in A major, op. 13

1. Allegro molto

2. Andante

3. Allegro vivo

4. Allegro quasi presto

R Vaughan Williams

Fantasia on Greensleeves

F Kreisler

Farewell to Cucullain (Londonderry air)

Programme Notes

Romanian Folk Dances - 1915 (arr. Zoltán Székely)  Béla Bártok (1881 - 1945)
Bartók collected and notated Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and Bulgarian folk music. Through his collection and analytical studies of folk music, he ultimately preserved entire cultures, and was one of the pioneers in ethnomusicology.
"The outcome of these studies was of decisive influence upon my work, because it freed me from the tyrannical rule of the major and minor keys..."
Despite the short duration of each movement, the combination of rhythmic and harmonic compositional styles in this set of seven dances (with the last two being combined in the final movement) invokes a visceral experience of participating in these cultural dances. With these being just a fragment of the tunes Bartók collected, we can only imagine the experiences he accumulated throughout all his expeditions.

Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in A Major - 1877  Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)
An early work of Fauré has claims to be regarded as his first masterpiece, enjoying over a century of fame for its vitality, complexity and sheer virtuosity. It precedes his other violin and cello sonatas by over 40 years, and César Franck's violin sonata by 10 years - written in the same key as Fauré and clearly influenced by it. This Sonata was mostly written in the summer of 1875, with benefit of advice from Belgian virtuoso Hubert Léonard who has previously studied with Vieuxtemps. When contemporaries of our day include Ligeti, Rzewski, Boulez and even Cage, it is hard to imagine how boldly adventurous and original this work sounded in the 19th century. Fauré's contemporaries include Liszt, Schumann and Wagner.
Fauré's ingenuity for radical contents is well hidden in this classically outlined work: his thematic development in the first movement, a lovely barcarolle with a less than common rhythmic pattern (a short-long rhythm prevails in both instruments), a very cheeky and intricately weaved scherzo with various changes in time signature, and a narrative finale that brings the work to an assuring close.

Fantasia on Greensleeves (arr. Michael Mullinar) Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)
Vaughan Williams once commented, "The art of music above all arts is the expression of the soul of the nation". In this delightful piece, he manages to capture the very essence of England in music. The serene, pastoral sounds evoke images of bucolic bliss. The title of Fantasia is in some ways misleading: the work is neither long enough nor complex enough to deserve the description; instead, it is a rather faithful setting of the original folk tune.

Farewell to Cucullain (arr. Fritz Kreisler) - Traditional Irish
One of the great violinists in the 20th century, some of Kreisler's earlier works were ascribed to earlier composers like Tartini and Vivaldi, where he was revealed to be the composer only in the latter half of his life. "The name changes, the value remains", was his reply when the critics voiced their dissatisfaction.
This well-known melody hardly needs any introduction, which was claimed to be notated by Jane Ross when she chanced upon a blind harpist playing the tune, or on another account composed by (yet another) blind harpist after an epiphanic moment. Be it Londonderry Air, Oh Danny Boy or the more recent rendition You Raise Me Up, we believe this lovely melody is one we can all enjoy, together with Kreisler's unique harmonies.

Chu-Yu Yang started playing the violin at the age of six under the guidance of Ming-Hui Lin and Su-Lan Hsu who has nurtured and influenced his formative years. He was offered a full entrance scholarship and completed his Bachelor of Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and was also awarded the Leverhulme Arts and Meher Rohi Gazder Scholarships. Competition successes include the Sylvia Cleaver Prize for chamber music (2016) and Birmingham Philharmonic Concerto Prize (2017) where he played the Korngold Violin Concerto and has then performed it with the Birmingham Conservatoire Orchestra the following year. During his years in RBC he studied with Simon Smith and participated in masterclasses by Tasmin Little, Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Bin Huang, Jan Repko, John Gilbert and Jennifer Pike. He is now pursuing his Master of Music degree at the Royal Academy of Music with Rodney Friend.

Despite not having his first piano lesson until 15 and completing a Diploma in Engineering, Tung Khng Chua's late start in music did not deter him from completing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at LASALLE College of the Arts, under Arkadiusz Bialak. He was then awarded his Master of Music with Distinction from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire studying with Philip Martin, Robert Markham and Mark Bebbington, focusing on repertoire by English Composers. He has participated in masterclasses and summer courses studying with John Lenehan, Carole Presland, Julian Jacobson and Martin Jones. At LASALLE he collaborated with contemporary classical composers and the dance faculty. Tung Khng was also actively involved in accompaniment, chamber music, music festival performances and lunchtime concerts while in Birmingham. He is now a full-time teacher and accompanist based in Singapore.

Chu-Yu Yang was offered a full entrance scholarship and completed his Bachelor of Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Competition successes include the Sylvia Cleaver Prize for chamber music (2016) and Birmingham Philharmonic Concerto Prize (2017). He is now pursuing his Master of Music degree at the Royal Academy of Music with Rodney Friend.

Despite not having his first piano lesson until 15 and completing a Diploma in Engineering, Tung Khng Chua's late start in music did not deter him from completing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at LASALLE College of the Arts, under Arkadiusz Bialak. He was then awarded his Master of Music with Distinction from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.