The HK Phil string players present pieces inspired by cross-cultural influences in the elegant setting of the Tea House Theatre
This February, the string players of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra offer audiences a new perspective on Eastern and Western sounds through two uniquely contrasting string quartets – Ge Ganru’s String Quartet No. 4 Angel Suite and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major.
Written in 1997, more than a decade after Ge Ganru moved to New York, the contemporary Chinese-American composer’s Angel Suite takes inspiration from his curiosity about Christianity. The delicate, mature piece, played entirely on Western instruments, employs a range of styles and showcases the ethereal quality of the strings.
French composer Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F major (1903), influenced by the work of his peer Debussy, is a kaleidoscope of recurring impressionistic themes and unusual tonal effects. The tightly controlled piece reflects his expansive musical vocabulary and the growing appreciation for Eastern music and art among European artists at that time.
The performance opens with a rearranged string quartet version of He Zhanhao and Chen Gang’s Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto for String Quartet (1959).