The National Grand Theater of China, also known as "The Egg", is an opera house in Beijing (People's Republic of China). It opened its doors in June 2007. The French architect Paul Andreu was commissioned to design it. The theater can accommodate up to 6,500 people on its 200,000 m² surface.
On the occasion of 13 years since the inauguration of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, this concert is offered with music by Ludwig van Beethoven, musical direction by Lü Jia, and the NCPA Orchestra and Chorus.
Embrace summer with the Sound of Summer Blooms.
Start your evening with a Beethoven concert! With this event, the first episode of this series of NCPA online concerts will have the support of 22 international artistic institutions in 16 countries on 5 continents. This first concert is published on the NCPA website, on their page and on the online platforms of many other international artistic institutions.
As one of the most popular masterpieces created by opera master Verdi, Aida is always favored by worldwide opera lovers - the vivid three-dimensional characterization and passionate melodies. The creative team is joined by Italian set designer Ezio Frigerio and costume designer Franca Squarciapino, who were creative members of NCPA's production of Nabucco.
Aida was premiered in 1871. The plot focuses on the love story between Ethiopian princess Aida and Egyptian hero Radames. At the choice between love and loyalty for defending the country, the couple is indecisive in a dilemma. The opera is full of strong contrast for emotions: Aida loves with infatuation for motherland and Radames, Radames celebrates victory and decides on 'unjust act', and Egyptian princess Amneris has overbearing desire for Radames. The story features plump texture so that people lament for this beautiful love.
In order to achieve accurate representation of regional features and cultural characteristics of the whole storyline, Verdi repeatedly went to museums to watch Egyptian antiquities and asked Egyptian experts for advice. He blends the ancient musical materials into the opera presentation with lively and profound understanding. The grand stage set makes it suitable for outdoor auditoriums.
In 1786, Mozart had just turned 30. Little did he know that it would mark the beginning of the last chapter of his life. Piano Concerto No. 23 was composed in that year, just five years before his death, and embodies all the musical thinking of this young genius at the height of his creative powers. Tchaikovsky regarded Mozart as the 'Christ of Music' and his own Variations on a Rococo Theme of 1876 was, in a sense, a tribute to Mozart, Haydn and other classical composers. In contrast to the intense passion of many of his better-known works, this piece is captivating in its elegance, harking back to earlier musical eras. Dvorak's Silent Forests was composed around the same time and reflects the composer's deep connection to his homeland, using Bohemian-influenced melodies.
Bruckner's Symphony No. 2 was first performed in 1873 and several versions of the work exist. It remains the only one of his symphonic works without a dedication and, at the same time, the first piece in which his powerful musical style comes to the fore. In 1868, Bruckner had just presented his Symphony No. 1 in Linz, soon moving to Vienna, a trip he had long wanted to make. By the time he presented his Symphony No. 2 five years later, he was already approaching fifty. That year he also managed to make a pilgrimage to Bayreuth, where he finally met his hero, Wagner. He showed the revered composer his recently completed Symphony No. 2 and the Symphony No. 3 he was still developing, expressing his wish to dedicate one of them to Wagner. The older composer commented that Symphony No. 2 was "very beautiful" but seems to have preferred the new work. Bruckner's nerves during the meeting were such that he completely forgot which of the symphonies Wagner had expressed a preference for and had to write to him afterwards to confirm it. Finally, he dedicated Symphony No. 3 to Wagner, intending to dedicate No. 2 to Liszt. Liszt accepted his dedication but then forgot the score in the hotel room. This angered Bruckner, who decided to withdraw his dedication. In this work, long pauses often mark the division between musical phrases, becoming another hallmark of the symphony, to the extent that it is sometimes referred to as "the Symphony of Pauses".
This concert was to celebrate the 5th anniversary of China NCPA Orchestra. It was conducted by Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Lü Jia and presented by renowned pianist Sa Chen with the Orchestra.
Using Su Shi’s poem of the same name as lyrics and written for Peking Opera style female singer, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra, Jiang Tcheng Tse is a milestone in Qigang Chen’s composition career. In spite of his familiarity with vocal works, this is Mr. Chen’s first chorus composition. Considering the state of mind in which he wrote this, it marks a new start in his composition after he had gone through a tough passage in life and collected his thoughts and sentiments. In this sense this piece is of exceptional significance. Qigang Chen uses his signature orchestral technics in this piece. One can identify the composer by listening to it. It is not simply the traits of the sound and the colors, but also the way they merge so seamlessly into the nature of the music, leading listeners right into the realm of dreams from the very beginning.
The contrast between dream and reality, sweet memories of the past and desolation of the present, constitute the core of Su Shi’s poem, and is the reason why Jiang Tcheng Tse has two choirs: each having their own happiness, but convergence of the two producing heart-breaking sound. That’s an irrevocable sorrow, an irreconcilable conflict between Yin and Yang. A score like this is naturally demanding for the chorus, but the pitch, the rhythm, the intensity of the sound, the color and the interval all pose extra challenges to the singing. However, because it is human voice instead of instruments, the sounds would reconcile and blend even in the forceful clashes of harmonies, signifying the strong emotional bond between the living and the dead, although forever separated. We hear lingering affection that is affluent and warm, not gloomy or icy separation. This reveals the very nature and purpose of the art of chorus.
This live recording of the performance marking the 10th anniversary of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, presented by the NCPA Orchestra and Choir under the baton of Lü Jia, conductor of the NCPA.