Jörgen van Rijen in Tan Dun's Three Muses in Video Game.

AUDIO - In its review of the concert on 5 November featuring the orchestra’s principal trombonist Jörgen van Rijen as soloist, the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad writes of ‘staggering mastery’. The concert is being rebroadcast on the Radio 4 Zondagmiddagconcert.
Jörgen van Rijen (photo: Renske Vrolijk)
Jörgen van Rijen (photo: Renske Vrolijk)

World premiere

Tan Dun has composed a work for trombone and orchestra entitled Three Muses in Video Game specially for principal trombonist Jörgen van Rijen. The work received its world premiere on 5 November 2021. Jörgen was accompanied by his very own Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Shiyeon Sung.

‘The work is exciting, groovy and spectacular, interspersed with beautiful, sweet, Chinese-like melodies… It really shows off two sides of my instrument.’

– Jörgen van Rijen

VIDEO – A behind-the-scenes look at a rehearsal. Jörgen talks about film music and video game music, and about the Chinese instruments xiqin, bili and sheng as a source of inspiration – Tan Dun’s muses.

Jörgen van Rijen talks about Three Muses in Video Game.

The whole programme is available to listen to until the beginning of January 2022.

Concertgebouw Orchestra

Shiyeon Sung - conductor
Jörgen van Rijen - trombone

Concert programme

Theo Verbey - Lumen Ad Finem Cuniculi
Tan Dun - Three Muses in Video Game (commissioned work, world premiere)
Isang Yun- Muak
Béla Bartók - The Miraculous Mandarin

Listen to the concert recording

About this concert

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.