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Concert review: A Tale Of Two Families a delicate, intimate affair

Published on Jul 2, 2014 12:09 PM

The gathering of members of the Chan and Lim families to perform two nights of chamber music at the Esplanade Recital Studio was a noteworthy affair, and one that needed considerable planning and preparation.

From the Lim family were oboist Veda Lin and her brother Lin Juan on cello, cousin Lim Yan and his wife Koh Jia Hwei, both on piano. The Chans were represented by siblings Yoong Han and Si Ning, alternating on violin and viola, brother Si Han and their uncle Wei Shing on cellos, and Wei Shing's wife, soprano Jeong Ae Ree. Also part of the concerts was Dan Gelok, although he was only slated for Wednesday's programme.

Ernst von Dohnanyi's Serenade For String Trio, written in five movements in a style that harked back to the serenades of Dvorak and Brahms, was a perfect fit for the Chan siblings to open the concert. They handled the challenging scherzo and final presto movements handily and with verve, and played with good ensemble and energy, although the youngest player, Si Han sometimes sounded reticent.

Two short sets followed. First on were three Songs Without Words by Mendelssohn arranged for oboe/English horn and piano, with Jia Hwei on piano. The oboe and English horn were given the limelight in the arrangement, and Veda Lin's rounded tone and well judged vibrato made one feel that the set was over all too soon.

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