Goethe-Institute concert combines German poems, Vietnamese folk music

(VOVWORLD) - Earlier this month, the Goethe institute in Hanoi hosted a concert which blended Vietnamese folk music and romantic verses by German poet Heinrich Heine.
Goethe-Institute concert combines German poems, Vietnamese folk music - ảnh 1

The poems and music filled every corner of the concert hall. Emeritus artist Kiều Oanh sang the poem “Lovesick” accompanied by a Hue folk chant. This poem was translated into Vietnamese and set to Hue music by members of the Đông Kinh Cổ Nhạc troupe, who are dedicated to Vietnamese traditional music.

Musician Đàm Quang Minh said: “Most of the poems performed in this show are from Henrich Heine’s collection ‘Romance’. What we did was to match the romance of the lyrics and the music as much as possible so that the performance would touch the audience’s hearts”. 

The show also used chèo (opera theatre), chầu văn (ceremonial singing), tuồng (classical opera), and other traditional genres, to convey the satirical humor and poignant emotions of unrequited love expressed in Heine’s poems.

People’s artist Thanh Hoài talked about her feelings singing those poems on stage: “The emotions expressed in German poems suit the various genres of Vietnamese traditional music. Satirical verses can go well with humorous xẩm singing, while nostalgic verses match certain chèo songs. We are happy to see the audience show emotions with us through different performances”.

Goethe-Institute concert combines German poems, Vietnamese folk music - ảnh 2

Musician Vũ Nhật Tân, a member of the Đông Kinh Cổ Nhạc troupe and the show’s poetry editor, told VOV: “Personally, I consider this show a great success. The German poems, translated into Vietnamese, combined with Vietnamese music nicely. They sound authentically Vietnamese”. 

Trần Ngọc Quyên, who loves traditional music and used to live in Germany, said: “The show today was very exciting. Combining poems with traditional music is a new idea. The audience was delighted by the performance of different folk genres. The artists’ great efforts made the concert a success”.

Henrich Heine, Germany’s renowned poet, wrote many romantic poems that have been set to music. This poetry night at the Goethe-Institute was a celebration of Heine’s 220th birthday. 

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