On the evening of 15th February, 2017, the lecture called “The Art of Musical Dialogue“of “The Concept of Music” series hosted by Xiamen University Faculty of Arts Professor Chen Shuhua was held in the multifunctional hall of Lianxing Building. Well-known Taiwanese pianist and associate professor of the Chinese Culture University Ye Mengru, accompanied by the renown violinist and associate professor of the Kaohsiung Normal University Wu Mengping shared their career and life experiences and provided a splendid performance for the students.
The two masters Ye and Wu share “The Art of Musical Dialogue”
At the beginning the two lecturers introduced to the students how their life paths converged at a certain time. Since there is no art-specific primary and secondary education in Taiwan, Wu started acquiring basic skills in his primary school. He went on with his studies at Guang Ren High School and later got admitted to the “National” Art Academy (now called Taipei Art University), after which he studied eight years in Germany. Ye started playing the piano since the age of seven, and coincidentally found his artistic pursuit among pirated recordings, namely the magnificent Russian music style. He went to Moscow to pursue advanced studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Being influenced by similar study conditions, the dark living environment both teachers experienced made them depressed at times, but also benefited their artistic creation. In 1996, as Ye was listening to Wu Mengping’s recital, he discovered that Wu is a musician with deep intellectual abilities, therefore the two musicians’ fields of interest coincided and they gradually came to work together.
Photo 3: The musical journey of Mr. Ye
After this, the two teachers started their live ensemble repertoire of three works. Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata in E-flat major (Op. 18) is a melody of love and youthful vitality. George Enescu’s Violin Sonata no. 3. in A minor “dans le caractère populaire roumain” (in Romanian folk style, op. 25) features impromptu forms adding to its complexity, as well as a strange style with regional characteristics. The tunes of Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata no. 1 in F minor (Op. 80) gradually change from harmony into fierce struggle. After the ensemble Wu mentioned that the price of the violin depends on the quality of the material and the skills of the artisan, as these two have a great impact on the effectiveness of the performance. Apart from this, he thinks that writing music in an exquisite and innovative way can elevate the exploration and imagination in violin art to a new level.
The live ensemble of the masters
Regarding questions about the different schools of musical thought, Ye said that all schools of thought have their own characteristic language and performers have to advance according to the given situation. As for the arrangement of concerts, Wu prefers to choose the content of his performances according to the cultural context, national traditions, different eras of the specific region and specific requirements. As for Ye, he emphasizes its adaptability to the given place, and he also notes that if the audience doesn’t applaud during the performance, it helps to be able to enter the time tunnel of the work. This way he also advocates the “concerts without applause” concept that emerged in recent years.
Time: 17th February 19:30
Place: Xiamen University Faculty of Arts, Music Hall
Guests: Ass. Prof. Ye Mengru, Ass. Prof. Wu Mengping
Richard Strauss Violin Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18
George Enescu Violin Sonata no. 3. in A minor “dans le caractère populaire roumain”, op. 25
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata no. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Written by: Lin Dongwei
Photos by: Jiang Li, Ye Mengru
Edited by: Chen Xi
Translated by: Sebestyen Hompot