On Wednesday night, cellist-turned-conductor Chang Han-na and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra turned the concert hall at the Seoul Arts Center into the mountain king’s hall.
They presented the Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, a collection of compositions conceived by Norwegian maestro Edvard Greig as incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt.”
|Chang Han-na conducts the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra at a concert at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Credia)|
Chang, the artistic leader and chief conductor of the Norway-based orchestra, took the baton with passion, almost dancing on the podium. She was Peer Gynt herself, watching the sunrise at a beach in Morocco, crying in despair over his mother’s death, dancing with an Arabian beauty and encountering the dancing trolls.
Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, followed, and pianist Lim Dong-hyek amply demonstrated his technical maturity. The piece showcased virtuosic romanticism, heavily influenced by Norwegian folk music.
After the intermission, Chang and the orchestra returned for an almost 50-minute journey with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique.” She emphasized the tragic beauty of the piece -- often referred to as Tchaikovsky’s requiem -- by prolonging the finishing silence to nearly 10 seconds.
Before favoring the crowd with an encore, “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Chang greeted the audience in Korean with a big smile.
“It has been a while since I have taken to the stage in Korea. I am happy to be here,” she said. The young conductor, overcome with emotion, could not talk again for a while.
By Im Eun-byel (email@example.com)