This remarkable event marked the culmination of the Berlin - Hanoi 2023 music project, spearheaded by the German chamber choir Lichtenberger Piekfeine Töne. It was a collaborative effort led by conductor Katrin Hübner from Germany, alongside Vietnamese traditional music artists Tran Phuong Hoa and Le Manh Hung. Joining them were Vietnamese vocalists, creating a musical tapestry that intertwined Vietnamese, German, and international works sung in various languages.

A performance at Berliner Philharmonie

For this special occasion, Vietnamese folk songs like "Cay Truc Xinh" (Beautiful Bamboo Tree), "Qua Cau Gio Bay" (While crossing the bridge, the wind blew it away), "Beo Dat May Troi" (When Earth and Sky Unite), and "Ngua O Thuong Nho" (Remembering the black horse) were arranged for choir by a team of talented musicians. Professor-composer Dang Ngoc Long from Berlin, composer Jezzy Da Lam Huong Thao Nguyen from Munich, and conductor Katrin Hübner all contributed their expertise to reimagine these beloved Vietnamese melodies for a choral setting.

The concert also featured a unique blend of traditional Vietnamese instruments played by artists Tran Phuong Hoa and Le Manh Hung, adding a rare and captivating layer to the classical four-part choral singing. Over 100 voices from three Berlin choirs, both male and female, brought these specially arranged pieces to life.

This was not the first time the Vietnamese music had graced Berlin's stages. In 1998, a traditional Vietnamese concert resonated within the walls of Berlin City Hall. Two years later, the city's House of Cultures of the World welcomed the sounds of Vietnam. The year 2001 saw Vietnamese traditional music touch the heart of the Beethoven Haus in Bonn. Notably, since 2007, Vietnamese traditional instruments have found a permanent place within the curricula of Berlin's public music schools.

The art exchange continued in 2014 when the opera "Con Rong, Chau Tien" (Children of Dragons and Fairies) was staged, featuring a fusion of Vietnamese instruments like the zither, monochord, and flute alongside the Bremen chamber symphony orchestra. The opera's success culminated in a performance at the prestigious German Presidential Palace in Berlin in 2015. Most recently, in 2022, the choir of the Max Planck Gymnasium Berlin further solidified the cultural connection by presenting Vietnamese works like "Trong Com" (Rice Drum), "Inh La Oi" (Oh Inh La), and "Cay Truc Xinh."

Source: VNA