Well known pop singer Nadda Viyakarn will be playing her
first Chiang Mai concert in ten years on December 19 at the Playhouse and
considering her husky voice and stage presence, it is sure to be an
Khun Nadda finished her studies in Bangkok and then went
to Canada and went to university there –staying with her uncle in Alberta.
“When I was there it was still very native and untouched”. I studied
business at Montgomery College and when I finished I went to visit friends
in Europe. I ended up singing with a group of friends in Basel, in
Switzerland in order to earn my bread and butter,” she added. After three
and a half years, she returned to Thailand and where joined a group of
friends who had a band at the Ambassador Hotel.
“Ever since then I didn’t stop singing. I started without
knowing it would end up being my life. I didn’t have any voice training or
music classes,” she said. She said that her mother noted she started singing
when she was 3 or 4, childrens songs just naturally. “It just got into me, I
started singing Jazz and love singing Broadway tunes.”
She added that she started in English because her voice
doesn’t really fit the Thai songs. She said that 20 years ago people
listened to soft music and slow voices and she came with her jazzy style and
husky voice. “I started singing new songs before anyone else. I sang “Don’t
Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita because I saw the show in London. It’s not
a song, it’s a speech set to music, it really has something to say. I sing
it because I love the song. It’s my signature song.”
Nadda Viyakarn will be performing on December 19 at 7:30
p.m., at the Playhouse Entertainment Complex, tickets will be available at
Robinson’s and the Playhouse.
Tasana Nagavajara and Pornphan Banternghansa in concert
The first weekend in December was a very special time for
music lovers in Chiang Mai. Two of Thailand’s finest musical artists
presented two breathtaking recitals, Tasana on violin and Pornphan on piano.
The programs were basically the same at each recital but with some
additional and juicy elements in the longer second recital.
Tasana and Pornphan had come to Chiang Mai as guests of
the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival for their end-of-year recital
on the evening of Friday 3rd. While in Chiang Mai, they accepted a second
invitation from Vichit to play in his beautiful Vichit Gallery in San
Kampaeng at an afternoon tea recital on the 4th. Both events were sold out
as indeed they should have been, given the very high quality performances
from these two eminent musicians.
On Friday night, the recital opened with two pieces by
Chopin played by Pornphan which were then followed by a short Tchaikovsky
piece and ended with the magnificent romantic Violin Sonata by Belgian-born
composer Cesar Franck. The order was reversed a little at the Vichit Gallery
and a numbers of additional short pieces by composers such as Delibes,
Mozart and Monti were added. The quality of the playing by both performers
was outstanding on each occasion. Pornphan has a deep and reverent
understanding of Chopin and gave us a passionate performance of the B flat
minor Scherzo what was as fiery and colourful as any of the recent Loy
Kratong festivities. Her interpretation of the Nocturne in D flat, one of
Chopin’s most remarkably beautiful compositions was deeply intuitive and
played with great compassion and feeling.
The central piece in each recital was the uniquely
nostalgic and masterfully crafted Violin Sonata in A major by Cesar Franck.
Much of Cesar Franck’s music has fallen by the wayside but this sonata, a
gem of romanticism with a classical structure remains one of the finest
violin sonatas of its era. And master-musician and violinist Tasana did more
than justice to this great piece. From the opening haunting melody to the
final canon we were treated to a ravishing display of great musicianship by
an artist with perfect control of his instrument. How fortunate Thailand is
to have such artists who have an incredible grasp of western classical
music. Tasana is quite devoted to the sonata and it showed throughout. He
played the softer passages with profound compassion but then exploded in a
sizzling outburst of unrelenting energy in the more vivacious sections
allowing pure passion to dominate, especially in the second movement and in
the finale of this adorable work. The main pieces, the additional pieces and
the encores were all played beautifully as befitted the intimate setting at
the Anne and Kazuyoshi Music Salon in Hang Dong and in the marvelous setting
of the Vichit gallery with its superb acoustics and with its array of
magnificent paintings and sculptures, not to mention the wonderful gardens
with their breathtaking views across rice fields to the mountains beyond.
These were recitals by musicians of the highest caliber
who delivered for the very appreciative audiences, music full of passion and
compassion. They will both be back in Chiang Mai soon – it is not just a
matter of ‘watch this space’ – you can join the Friends of the Chiang Mai
Music Festival and be assured of seats for their next performances by
ringing JP on 084 868 1017 for an enrolment form or for further information.