Sep 202013

A thoroughly Italianate vocal line distinguishes the first selection, Hương Xưa (Aria All’antica), elaborate scena con recitativo which constitutes an idyllic hymn to pre-war Vietnam, from its three companions. The last one of this first group, Hoài-Cảm (Secrèters Langueurs), with it well-contrasted opening and middle sections, the first a Largo doloroso in C-minor, the second a swaying valse lente in the parallel major key, has always been a favorite with the Vietnamese young ladies who want to graduate from Chopin’s Waltz in A-minor into something even more congenial. On the other hand, our second selection, Nguyệt-Cầm (Selenemorphosa), has always kept its forbidding reputation. Both the poetry and the music are recondite. Continue reading »