February’s Beautiful Sunday series at the Esplanade features the Band of Toa Payoh South Community Club – Novo Winds, with a ‘spring celebration’ themed performance.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the performance will see a downsized ensemble of 20 unmasked wind musicians on stage instead of the full size ensemble.
“Our musicians are playing their parts alone for the first time as compared to previous occasions. This is a challenge that we have to accommodate to, as the wind musicians have to be seated 2 metres apart from each other, and the percussionists, 1 metre apart. It is something that we never encountered before in a normal setting, which makes it harder than usual for our members to listen to one another while playing,” said Josh Lee, president of Novo Winds.
Despite the strict restrictions, Novo Winds will bring to audiences a lunar new year special, in a program specially curated by its Music Director Joseph Teo.
The band will be performing ‘Chinese Spring Overture‘, which is a movement from the Spring Festival Suite, a work strongly influenced by the efforts of Xian Xinghai – composer of the Yellow River Cantata to interpret Chinese folk music in Western musical styles. It was composed in 1955-1956 by Li Huanzhi.
The Spring Festival of the title is the Chinese New Year and the most known movement of the suite is the first movement, the overture and it comes from the folk music from the Shanbei region. It is often played by its own, and is known as the Spring Festival Overture.
“Another highlight that audiences will hear is The Legend of Yao, which consists a myriad of China local colours. From the pentatonic scale as the basis of the melody, the music begins with the oboe playing a beautiful and the slow theme. When entering the second allegro section, the bassoon, xylophone and wooden fish play a lively theme. The third section is turned into a beautiful melody played by the clarinet in three or four beats. In this section, the duet of the oboe and the French horn is joined together. The finale sees the duet of the trombone and the Euphonium, which most brilliantly ends in the festive joy of Chinese New Year,” Josh explained.
This Sunday’s performance marks the band’s first performance in 2021, and they hope to perform in more opportunities in the near future.
“At this point, we are unsure when a full-sized symphonic band can perform in a concert hall but we are preparing a couple of videos of our pop band and ensemble groups for online sharing. Do stay tuned on our social media platforms in the coming months for more information!”
Sunday, 7 February 2021
Esplanade Concert Hall, 2pm & 5.30pm
45mins (no intermission)