5 November 2021

Tan Dun world premiere

Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin

East and West, Friend and Foe

Tickets & Programme
November 2021 Friday 20:15
Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Theo Verbey Lumen Ad Finem Cuniculi
Tan Dun Three Muses in Video Game (commission, world premiere)
Isang Yun Muak
Béla Bartók De wonderbaarlijke mandarijn

The Concertgebouworkest and its principal trombonist Jörgen van Rijen are performing a world premiere by Tan Dun. Conductor Shiyeon Sung also leads the orchestra in Bartók’s music from The Miraculous Mandarin and utopias by Isang Yun and Theo Verbey. War and violence are closely juxtaposed with the unbridled pleasure of dance and play in this programme full of contrasts.

Utopian dance fantasy

Computer game heroes go head-to-head in a new virtuoso trombone concerto entitled Three Muses in Video Game, which the Chinese composer Tan Dun has written for the Concertgebouworkest and its intrepid principal trombonist Jörgen van Rijen. The Korean conductor Shiyeon Sung’s Concertgebouworkest debut also includes the utopian ‘dance fantasy’ Muak by her compatriot, the freedom fighter Isang Yun, in which East and West forge a peaceful alliance.

Wild chase scenes

Shortly after the First World War, Bartók wrote music for a pantomime full of sex and violence: The Miraculous Mandarin. The brilliant music featuring sounds of the city and wild chase scenes still sounds modern today. The Far East returns here in the form of a rich Chinese man who would appear to be indestructible until his carnal longing is finally fulfilled.

Warm heart

The opening work is by the Dutch composer Theo Verbey, who passed away in 2019. In his Lumen ad finem cuniculi, a blinding light shines at the end of a tunnel. A percussion quartet of marimbas and vibraphones form the warm heart of this melodious work.