2013 ASIA TOUR: SINGAPORE CONCERT
Siow Lee Chin with faculty of Bard College Conservatory & Soochow University School of Music
Esplanade Concert Hall/Tuesday
It was good to see violinist Siow Lee Chin back in concert after nearly two years, having recovered from a career-threatening injury suffered in a hit-and-run car accident last year.
Her left arm, the arm she uses to play her violin, was broken in two places.
On Tuesday night, she was not playing solo but partnering her colleagues from New York's Bard College Conservatory and the newly formed Soochow University School of Music in a short but lovely programme of chamber music.
Mozart's popular Flute Quartet In D Major (K.285) provided a most congenial opener, with Czech flautist Clara Novakova weaving clear and pristine lines, closely supported by Siow, violist Shawn Moore and cellist Wu Hekun.
The vital essence of chamber music was in play throughout, with an ideal balance of sound and tautness of ensemble.
Its Adagio was a charming aria-like serenade, with flute floating above gently plucked pizzicato strings. But before one could get too comfortable, it abruptly broke off into the lively Rondo finale with all four musicians articulating its joyous strains in one accord.
Siow spoke briefly about her homecoming and learning new repertoire, which included arrangements by Levon Atovmyan's of Shostakovich's Five Pieces For Two Violins And Piano.
Here was the Soviet composer at his least forbidding, writing popular and banal melodies, mostly for films and ballets, without resorting to his trademark cynicism.
She was partnered by Moore, now playing second violin, and pianist Elise Yun.
Although undemanding on the ears, the little pieces, which include a Prelude, Gavotte, Elegy, Waltz and Polka, required warmth, delicacy and no little good humour.