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Unique theater experience

Chiang Mai Music Festival schedule

Straddling the weekend – two pianos and a trumpet!


Unique theater experience

Members of the Playback Theatre perform at the Cat House on February 15.

By Shana Kongmun

The Playback Theatre troupe performed at the Cat House on Sirimangkalajarn Soi 3 on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 and was an entertaining, thought provoking and interesting evening for all those who attended.

Playback theater gets the audience involved in what is essentially extemporaneous theater on the parts of the actors. A member of the audience tells the story and the actors then play the parts of the story, offering an interpretation of the events that is often entertaining and at times, moving. The theme of the evening was gratitude in all its forms, gratitude to others for their deeds and gratitude given to oneself for one’s own kind acts.

Members of the audience were invited to discuss the feelings they experience in these situations and the actors often managed to convey those feelings vividly. Then audience members were invited to participate in the act by relaying an experience they had that fit the theme of gratitude. Given the spontaneous nature of the performances, the actors were surprisingly spot on with their interpretations and many felt moved at times by the performances given.

More information about the Playback Theatre can be found online:

Lewis Levine relays an experience he had in Laos for the actors to interpret.

Chiang Mai Music Festival schedule

Featuring Seol-Hwa Kim on the piano, the first concert starts Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. and sees works by Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Evler.
Starting with:
Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob XIV/52 Franz Joseph Haydn
Allegro (Moderato)
Finale: Presto
Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57 ‘Appassionata’ Ludwig van Beethoven
Allegro assai
Andante con moto - attaca
Allegro ma non troppo - Presto
Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52 Frederic Chopin
Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. 45 Frederic Chopin
Wilde Jagdt (from Transcendental Etudes) Franz Liszt
Concert Arabesques on Blue Danube Waltz Adolf Schulz-Evler

The second day sees and evening of three great Piano trios. Starting Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Art and Culture Center behind the Three Kings Monument we see Tong-Il Han, Piano, Sang-Jun Shinn, Violin and Dejan Yu, Cello playing Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms.
Trio in G Major, Franz Joseph Haydn
Poco Adagio
Finale: Rondo all' Ongarese - Presto
Trio in C Minor, Op. 1, No. 3 Ludwig van Beethoven
Allegro con brio
Andante cantabile con Variazioni
Menuetto: Quasi allegro
Finale: Prestissimo
Trio in B Major, Op. 8 Johannes Brahms
Allegro con moto
Scherzo: Allegro molto
Adagio non troppo
Finale: Allegro molto agitato
The recitals are free, open to the public and will be held in the open air courtyard of the Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Centre behind the Three Kings Monument.

Straddling the weekend – two pianos and a trumpet!

By Jai-Pee

On Friday February 4th two young students aged twenty each provided a reasonably sized audience at Payap University with their program of pieces ranging from Bach to Kabalevsky.

These presentations are an essential part of their degree studies and the notion of sharing the platform turned out to be a good idea as nerves were very much to the fore in both budding musicians. Napa was the first to go and she launched into a set of pieces from Book II of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Sadly her nerves got the better of her and she gave us a rather ordinary wooden performance.

She had settled down a little more when she played a couple of movements from one of Haydn’s many piano sonatas – despite their alluring melodies and delectable harmonies, these sonatas are not easy to play as many were written for advanced students when he was in charge of the Prince Esterhazy’s musicians and was his resident composer. Pana struggled with some of the difficult fingering, again her nervousness showing through. When her fellow student Kontai came on stage he approached the Book I Bach Well-Tempered Clavier with much greater confidence and assurance, and he managed a plausible performance of Katchachurian’s Toccata.

Then came the interval and the strangest thing happened. Opening the second half with a late but well-known Mozart Piano Sonata in C, his nerves got the better of him and this was even more evident in his rendition of some Chopin Waltzes and a Nocturne. He then ceded his place to Napa who strode out confidently and played the Schuman Arabesque No 1 with great aplomb and hardly a raw nerve in sight. Equally she tackled the final Kabalevsky piece with increased confidence and managed to extol a melody in this otherwise somewhat tuneless piece. For a first performance this was a brave effort and both players sat down together at the end to give a four-handed performance that was sparkling and delightful – and the audience loved it.

On the other side of the weekend, twenty-four year old trumpeter Siwasak Piamphisankun gave a good performance of a range of pieces including the whole of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto arranged for piano accompaniment, played by Remi Namthep, a soloist in her own right.

Siwasak’s fingering was suitably agile and supple enough to get round some of the typical Haydnesque trills and his delivery was generally slick and clear. In other lesser-known pieces, the trumpet was played tolerably well – a few split notes here and there – but overall this young man has achieved a solid base from which to move forward. Remi’s popular uncle, Ajaan Chan (or Jan as he is sometimes known), provided excellent accompaniment in some pieces in the second half; of particular note were the two pieces that brought the recital to a close – written by contemporary USA composer Eric Ewazen, both of them full of lyrical melodies which the young Siwasak played with great feeling and assurety.