East meets West.
The event featured the ensembles Klangforum Wien and the China Found Music Workshop from Taipei.
Appropriately, some of the works were inspired by Chinese folklore and philosophy, such as Pan Hwan-Long's highly atmospheric The Butterfly's Dream.
Others were more European in conception, such as James Clarke's Landschaft mit Glockenturm II.
The final work - and perhaps the most effective - was by a European composer, Bernhard Lang.
But its title, The Lotus Pond, suggested Oriental inspiration and it certainly provided the most space for the sonorities of the Chinese instruments to be heard.
European instruments, such as the violins, oboe, Boehm flute, trombone, bassoon and double bass that we heard last night have the greater range and power.
But their Chinese counterparts, such as the pipa, shemg, erhu, zither and bamboo flute, proved perfectly capable of participating in this highly sophisticated music.
And Chinese instruments provide ranges of sounds, such as plucked and beaten strings, plus the free reed sheng, which are generally not present in Western art music.
So we were provided with a very broad soundscape.
The compositions tended to separate the two groups of instruments, both spatially and aurally.
Perhaps this was a shame, because it would have been a fascinating project to integrate them completely.
As it was, conductor Jurg Wyttenbach and the players displayed exceptional co-ordination and empathy in this highly demanding music.
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|Publication:||Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)|
|Date:||Nov 20, 2004|
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