Concert features German lyrics set to Vietnamese music

Friday, 2017-10-06 10:50:45
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German poet Heinrich Heine. (Photo: Hanoi Goethe Institute)
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NDO/VNA - Vietnamese musicians will perform at a concert combining the traditional music and romantic poems by German poet Heinrich Heine at the Goethe Institute in Hanoi tonight.

Heine (1797-1856) was one of the most famous German romantic poets, famous for his love poems as well as for his subtle irony. Several of his poems are recited at schools and at public events, said the institute’s director Wilfried Eckstein.

The Vietnamese version of Heine’s Lyric Intermezz by Chu Thu Phuong was released at the end of last year in Hanoi.

"This version cannot be performed with traditional music," said the concert music editor Vu Nhat Tan. "It requires a second adaption by musician Dam Quang Minh in order to make the German poems suitable for traditional Vietnamese music".

Tan and People’s Artist Thanh Hoai edited the traditional music pieces of chau van (ceremonial singing); Hue singing; tuong (classical opera), cheo (popular theatre) and xam (blind busker’s singing).

Performing at the concert will be popular traditional artists, such as People’s Artist Minh Gai, People’s Artist Xuan Hoach and Meritorious Artist Thuy Ngan and Hoai.

"By offering Heine as material for contemporary appreciation and interpretation we intend to promote cultural dialogue," said Eckstein.

"We acknowledge the great importance of traditional Vietnamese music to contemporary audiences. In Germany some poetry and texts from the Romantic period have also gained relevance and appreciation. We are looking for works from contemporary authors from Vietnam and Germany to be translated and brought into a dialogue with each other."

This is the second time the Goethe Institute has held a concert to combine German poetry with traditional Vietnamese music. The first adapted poems by contemporary Jan Wagner and was held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in May.

Tonight’s concert will begin at 8pm, including a presentation by translator Phuong.