Concert Highlight

Death of the Harlequin

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In Death of the Harlequin, the flamboyant and comical Harlequin is the antithesis of solemn and grave Death.

Through a unique interpretation of the work of four composers, the T'ang Quartet revealed how, through Death, Life flares on – as man experiences mourning, remembrance and celebration, and hence, the joy of living.

Franz Schubert is acknowledged as one of history’s greatest romantic music composer, whose beautiful melodies hold a wide appeal to audiences.

Bright Sheng’s String Quartet No. 3 is one of the Quartet's most played pieces in its repertoire. From its London debut at the Wigmore Hall to university lecture performances, the T’ang Quartet has worked closely with Sheng on this complicated work. The efforts the musicians have put into understanding Sheng’s work won them a prize for Best Presentation Of A Work at the Weimar international string quartet competition in 1999.

Aulis Sallinen’s philosophies of championing his original compositions and promoting classical music to new audiences resonated with the T’ang Quartet, who was then motivated to include his work into Death of the Harlequin.

“This is our first foray exploring Sallinen’s music. We believe that local audiences will be drawn to his music, notwithstanding his use of simple melodies coupled with strong harmonic dissonances,” said T’ang Quartet violinist Ang Chek Meng.

Ned Rorem, hailed the Godfather of the American song, writes fresh and invigorating music that stirs the passion of listeners. The Quartet will play six miniature movements of String Quartet No. 4, which was inspired by the paintings of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

With Death of the Harlequin, the Quartet returned to its most intimate music making and original form.

Press Coverage & Reviews

… Such is the unspoken chemistry that exists with chamber musicians who have worked lifelong with one another. Subtitled Aspects of Hindrik Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March, the work which is an ingenious theme and variations, received the full measure of its poly-stylistic twists and turns. …

For posterity's sake,

Death of the Harlequin,

T'ang Quartet's sterling, stirring effort,
The Straits Times (Life! Section)

T'ang's for the memories,
The Straits Times (Life! Section)

Lianhe Zaobao


You might be interested in Of Friends And Followers, where T'ang Quartet played to a gallery of paintings.