CD

Summertime
(Recorded 2009, Published 2010)



  George Gershwin 
1 Summertime 3’05” 
2 Someone To Watch Over Me 2’23” 
3 Bess, You Is My Woman Now  4’50”
  Tom Turpin   
4 Harlem Rag  2’32” 
  Alexandar Glazunov   
  String Quartet No.3 Op.26, “Quatuor Slave” 
I. Moderato
5’06”
6 II. Interludium, Moderato 5’15”
7 III. Alla Mazurka, Allegretto 5’52”
8 IV. Finale, Allegro moderato 11’55”
  Hui Cheung-wai 許翔威  
9 May Consolation 禱歌 : 苦難中得安慰 4’25”
  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
  Flute Quartet in A Major K.298  
10 I. Andantino 5’17”
11 II. Menuetto 2’00”
12 III. Rondo, Allegretto grazioso 2’49”
  Claus Dieter Ludwig  
  Happy Birthday, A Five Course Birthday Dinner  
13 I. Andante festivo e culinario  0’27”
14 II. Lento lasagne e lambrusco 1’39”
15 III. Marcia marsala e mozzarella 1’30”
16 IV. Valzero vongole e vaniglia 1’30”
17 V. Tango tartufo e tagliatelle 2’13”

All pieces arranged by King’s Harmonica Quintet except track 9.

Total timing: 62’56”

Distributed by Modern Audio Limited

40-page programme booklet, 37 photos


這是許多人期待了許久的一張唱片,光是現今世界的口琴界,就該有無數琴友和年青後輩希望透過專輯之錄音,聆賞已達翹楚地位的英皇口琴五重奏獨樹一幟的演奏。實在他們的琴韻早已在更遼闊的音樂天地迴響,其優秀的素質廣獲音樂界刮目相看。吸引着各類不同聽眾的還有精益求精的選曲和他們鼓勵當代作曲家書寫的新作品,即使不諳口琴演奏技巧及箇中挑戰性的人,只需要聽到那罕有的、渾然天成的口琴合奏諧協之音、流暢如一的默契、把古今中外的美妙樂曲生動演繹,都會心耳共鳴,由衷感應。

從上一張英皇口琴五重奏推出的唱片至今已逾十年,而這期間他們對音樂熱情是有增無減的,成就亦越加不凡。他們的經驗、能力和思想自然是比前十年的年青時代更趨成熟。室樂組合一直在現代環境中較難持續發展,英皇口琴五重奏卻能異軍突起,是香港歷史最長而且活躍無間的室樂組合。他們更史無前例的讓口琴重奏成為與管弦樂團及中樂團協奏的主角,功力及創意獲得肯定;然而這燦爛十年的成績是未可限量的,他們準有更大的宏願、更高的理想,在前面的歲月裡再獻新猷。

與英皇口琴五重奏處於同一時空,我有緣於十年前透過香港藝術節的委約作曲而開始了我們之間不斷的合作,引發了我許多新的樂思,也因為這水準高超的五重奏每次都勝任把新元素演活,讓我繼續在譜紙上無止境地開拓。而他們豐富多采的本土及國際音樂活動,還給我帶來一而再、再而三的美妙藝術體驗和無邊的歡樂。我有幸與他們一起為口琴音樂的推展而努力,喜見演奏者與聽眾對口琴新風格予以接受和期待。這十年英皇口琴五重奏廣邀不同的作曲家譜寫新曲,共同創造口琴音樂的新文化,那種文化觸覺及其灌注的精神是超越一般音樂家的。

看來今年英皇口琴五重奏比往年更加繁忙,他們對完美錄音的追求令「十年磨一劍」的專業製作格外珍貴。這唱片的誕生雖然只反映了他們豐盛成果的一部分,但卻包含了碩大的意義,也許孕育多年的錄音計劃終於在今年達成是最恰當的時候。揮筆此間,桌面正放着我為英皇口琴五重奏於他們明年載譽重臨香港藝術節,與古琴合演而寫的新譜篇章;他們過去十年如一日在演出及教育下一代的辛勤,和對音樂創作的積極支持,正是一股無比動力,使我在譜寫了累計已數百分鐘的口琴新樂曲之後,依然樂此不疲的為他們、也是為我自己也熱愛的口琴建構更多、更不一樣的曲目。

許翔威

 

This CD is a recording that has been longing for by many people for a long time. The King’s Harmonica Quintet, as the definitive harmonica group in the contemporary world, is praised not only by numerous harmonica players and enthusiasts in the world, but also musicians and audiences at large. With its unique sounds and repertoire, performed by excellent coordination and balance, KHQ could always let the listeners’ heartstrings resonate and experience the beauty and artistry of harmonica ensemble playing that one may have never encountered before.

It has been more than a decade since the last time KHQ produced a CD of its own. There’s no doubt that every member of the group has been elevated in experience, ability and thoughts. The maturity in the past ten years has brought KHQ with greater success and achievements. Despite the harsh environment for continuous development of chamber music in the modern society, KHQ strives to be outstandingly active, and remains as the oldest chamber group in Hong Kong. Moreover, KHQ has been at the centre stage of the one-after-another record-breaking and history-making with its energetic activities since the turn of new millennium. The collaboration of KHQ with philharmonic orchestra and large Chinese instrumental ensemble is a shimmering crystal to reflect its artistic glory, but there’s no limit for a brighter future with the unlimited pursuit of excellence.

Living in the same time and space with the gentlemen of KHQ, I am lucky as a composer to join their voyage in transforming the musical culture of the harmonica into its new age. Ten years ago, I started working with them on the three world premiere scores for the 2000 Hong Kong Arts Festival in which UK’s Arditti Quartet was to play my second string quartet as well. The one-of-a-kind performance of KHQ was so satisfying and I could foresee the much greater areas in cultivating for the harmonica ensemble. It is my honour to receive commissions continuously from this high quality group with a global non-stop itinerary, and every new idea comes up from my mind has been lively realized by KHQ. That kind of joy within the heart of a composer is not often shared with other ordinary musicians. The extraordinary practice of commissioning various composers by KHQ is surpassing in the practice of musical arts in our time.

I can see that KHQ is getting busier every year. As a group aims for the best uncompromisingly, this production is particularly precious and meaningful although only a part of their fruitful output is selected within the confined capacity of a CD. The summertime this year should be the right time for the birth of this selection to turn a new page in KHQ’s musical career. While writing these lines, the latest score I am preparing for KHQ’s proud return to the Hong Kong Arts Festival is in progress. The restless enthusiasm in performance, mentoring younger generations and seeking for breakthrough by the King’s Harmonica Quintet is a powerful drive for me to continue in composing for the wonderful group and the wonderful free-reed instrument. Having the several hundred minutes of harmonica music I have written before, I can still find it so interesting and exploratory to write more and more.

HUI Cheung Wai