The Young Musicians’ Concert organized by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka made its mark on the Colombo music scene on July 23 with their impressive performance. The highlight of the event was the performance of the programmed musical piece, Achrann, by the young Sri Lankan composer, Shannon Jacob.
According to her, the Gaelic word Achrann directly translates to ‘strife’. This piece is an expression of the medieval Irish battle through themes of romance, loss, hope and warfare. Indeed, the different effects of the many instruments used at different times created a vision of a medieval war, harking back to an era where knights rode to battle with monsters unknown, synonymous with Tolkien’s world or Game of thrones.
The piece begins with mournful tunes of an aching heart. Then, the bells chime, implying oncoming change. It reminds one of warning bells of an enemy invasion. People are elated with feelings of hope and glory. Next, the valor and the fearlessness of those in the battle-field could be visualized through the music. This is followed with woeful tones mixed with a sense of duty as they see their loved ones fall in battle and finally, a glorious victory.
Eshan Denipitiya performed Mozart, piano concerto no. 17 in G major K 453 I. Allegro II. Andante lll. Allegretto. The music was uplifting and happy. It reminds one of figure skating or the joyful emotions of a small child that only fluctuates but never quenches. It invoked uplifting, emotions of ecstasy, joy, then somewhat calmer happiness and hope. It could be a representation of the heartstrings of a lover experiencing the first feelings of love which are intensely complicated.
Then the piece fluctuated between happiness, sadness and even a bit of anger. The last piece reminds one of can can dances in 18th Century Paris, where the populace paraded the city to flaunt their attire. It was a musical rendition of dandies and ladies in fur and flowing lace walking around the streets of Paris. As he performed, Eshan swayed gracefully to the smooth notes flowing from all round him.
Sopranos Dinushka Jayawickreme and Shehara Liyanage performed the duet Leo Delibes: ‘Viens, Mallika’ (the Flower Duet) from Lakmé and Mozart: Sull’aria….Che Soave Zeffiretto (the Letter Duet) from Marriage of Figaro, K. 492. The rendition was of excellent sound quality and was accompanied by the string segment of the orchestra. It was a soulful performance accompanied by fitting facial expressions. Their heartfelt music resonated throughout the hall.
The Symphony orchestra then rewarded the audience with a round of Jean Sibelius: Karelia Suite for orchestra Opus 11. I. Intermezzo, Moderato II. Ballade. Tempo di menuetto – un poco piu lento III. Alla Marcia. Moderato. The trumpets and the first tunes makes one visualize a regal lady making an entry to a grand ball. Then the music took the form of a thistle blowing in wind, swaying to its speed. Next sorrowful tunes emerged that fluctuated from time to time. Finally, happiness with good tidings was indicated as the orchestra made its graceful and poetic finale.
The performers for the night shared their experience with Nation afterwards. “I am very excited because the performance went really well. The orchestra did a great job. The singers and Shannons’ composition was great too. I am glad that I got the opportunity to take part in this concert. I think it is great that young aspiring musicians are given this opportunity to play with the symphony orchestra. It is a really big milestone for up and coming classical musicians,” shared Eshan Denipitiya.
Dinushka Jayawickreme and Shehara Liyanage said that it was a great experience and both of them would like to thank the symphony orchestra for giving them the opportunity and Soundarie, for supporting them all the way. “We want all young artistes out there to be a part of something like this and showcase their talent,” concurred the duo.
Ajit Abeysekera, the conductor for the event commented that, “Shannon’s piece is a piece of programmed music. It is a very cleverly done piece because she has used essentially very limited number of themes and then combined and transformed them to convey different moves and emotions. She certainly shows lots of compositional talent. I think the young soloist performed extremely well. The whole purpose of the concert was to expose them to the music audiences in Colombo.”
Pics by Kelum C Nelumdeniya