Making an Effort

To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. – Igor Stravinsky

26th October, 2015 – Xuefei Yang and Ian Bostridge

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Guitar: Xuefei Yang

Tenor: Ian Bostridge

Venue: Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall

Dowland – In Darkness Let Me Dwell

Britten (arr. Bream) – Second Lute Song of the Earl of Essex (from Gloriana)

Argento – Chopin to a Friend (from Letters from Composers), Schubert to a Friend (from Letters from Composers)

Schubert – Die Mainacht, D 194

Der König in Thule, D.367

An die Musik, D. 547

Ständchen (from Schwanengesang, D. 957)

Britten – Songs from the Chinese, Op. 58

Chinese Ancient Tune (arr. Xuefei Yang) – Fisherman’s Song at Eventide

Debussy (arr. Bream) – La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin

Falla – Homenaje, le Tombeau de Caude Debussy

Falla (arr. Xuefei Yang) – Spanish Dance No.1 (from La Vida Breve)

Goss – The Book of Songs

Dowland – Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite

White as  Lilies was Her Face

My Thoughts are Winged with Hopes

Flow My Tears

In Darkness Let Me Dwell

Since I saw Xuefei Yang perform with the Elias String Quartet in my hometown of Chester for the Chester Music Festival in at he Town Hall, I have waited for Xuefei to return to Hong Kong to see her perform again. She has occasionally returned to perform some more private functions, but has mostly been performing in China. As soon as I heard of this concert, I booked my ticket at the earliest opportunity.

This was quite a different concert with Yang mostly accompanying Bostridge on guitar. Ian Bostridge produced a beautiful tone and expression and Yang was as nimble as ever on guitar. They started with Dowland – songs that were originally performed with a lute accompaniment in the 16th Century as this was the instrument Dowland played.

The second half started with Xuefei Yang performing solo on guitar including a couple of pieces by Falla which gave a little Spanish flair to the concert. Then it was back to the Brits with ‘The Book of Songs’ which was written by Stephen Goss for Bostridge and Yang and ending with Dowland once more. The duo performed encores including a Chinese tune which received a very warm reception.

The artists signed autographs in the foyer. So, I met Xuefei Yang and mentioned that I’d seen her perform in my hometown of Chester, which she remembered as being very beautiful. Quite right!

Meeting Xuefei Yang post concert

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