A beautiful blend of East and West

A beautiful blend of East and West
East-West Soiree’, an evening of fine music presented by Dutch pianist Monique Copper and organised by International Music and Arts Society (IMAS), saw a packed house with people of all age groups at My Fortune Hotel. The talented musician mesmerised the audience with her nimble fingers on the piano. Monique, who has performed in the city earlier, ably played pieces that reflect the East-West connection. According to her, it is a popular theme today both in The Netherlands and outside.

The concert featured beautiful compositions by Western classical composers influenced by the East and Asian composers influenced by the West. A few songs of Rabindranath Tagore were also on her programme. She played two works of French composer Debussy, who with his contemporaries was influenced by Eastern musical elements. One could clearly hear the unique sounds of the ‘gamelan’, an Indonesian percussion instrument.

Monique also included four works by Dutch composers and compositions each of Indonesian composer Sjukur and Yun Yi of Malaysia. What made the concert even more special was the precise introduction of all the works and their unique features by the musician before playing each of them.  “Our society always likes to present something different and in Monique’s piano recital, this was emphasised by her exploration of the East-West connection, showcasing compositions by Western composers influenced by Eastern musical elements and by Asian composers bringing their culture into a Western consciousness. This gave her performance a unique flavour,” said Urmila Devi from IMAS.

Former foreign secretary of India, Nirupama Rao, who was a part of the audience, thoroughly appreciated the performance. “What was particularly appealing was the treatment of Eastern themes through a Western musical idiom. That came through in many of the pieces she played which depicted the influence of Indonesia with which the Dutch have had a long historical connection. Even though they were Western pieces, the treatment of Tagore songs brought out the underlying Indian influence,” expressed Nirupama.

The artiste herself was pleased to be performing in Bengaluru for the third time. “I felt nice on being invited back by the International Music and Arts Society and their daring choice of my programme because it is not really easy listening. Straightaway, I felt the warm reception and it felt very close with no barriers between the cultures. We had a full house with audience of all ages. I saw the young being very pleased and happy,” Monique said adding, “One can only dream of an audience like the one in Bengaluru, but for my concert, it has been a reality.”

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