Musique de la Vie et de la Terre


Bhatthara Maharaja Overture for Orchestra and Chorus
Narongrit Dhamabutra

“Bhatthara Maharaja” was composed by Narongrit Dhamabutra in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Scored for large orchestra and chorus, this piece is based on the poem by Associate Professor Chosita Maneesai. The composition starts with a majestic theme by the brass section, followed by a melodious theme by the string section.

Then, the chorus sings the poem twice. In the second time, the music grows in pompous manner. During the course of the composition, the music is placid and later enters the lively section with the addition of percussion and harp timbres. The music then moves to a fast and energetic sixteen-note running passage from the string section, imitating the idiom of “Ranad” (a Thai xylophone). The coda begins with a grand gesture from the orchestra and the chorus and eventually ends peacefully.


H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Medley on Royal Compositions for 2 pianos and orchestra
Arranged by Wiwat Suthiyam

This welcome song was written and performed in honor of H.R.H. Princess Alexandra of Kenton the occasion of her 1959 visit to Thailand. M.L. Usni Pramoj remarked, “On the day of the banquet, His Majesty arrived at Sala Phaka Phirom shortly before Princess Alexandra’s scheduled arrival and handed my father (M.R. Seni Pramoj) a score sheet. It was a gentle melody of short duration. My father duly scribbled down some English lyrics for the music. And, as quickly and smoothly as the whole affair seemed to move along, after dinner His Majesty played the tune on the piano, with Mr. Manrat Srikaranonda singing.”

The Thai lyrics written to the sweet tune by Thanpuying Maniratana Bunnag under the title of “Phaendin Khong Rao” (“Our Motherland”) were marked by patriotic fervor and pride for the motherland. The composition was made at the request of Her Majesty the Queen who felt that more music for patriotism wouldn’t hurt anyone; she saw it fitting to have this sweet tune do a few extra notes for the country.

Love in Spring
This is one of the earliest songs His Majesty composed after his return home for permanent residence in the country; it was granted to the Old England Students Association as their signature tune.

The English lyrics were written by H.H. Prince Chakrabandh Pensiri and theThai lyrics by Thanpuying Somroj Swasdikul. “Love in Spring” a bittersweet love tune, turned out to be one of His Majesty’s most popular compositions.

The Impossible Dream
It has always been Her Majesty the Queen’s wish to offer words of encouragement to government officials, the military and police forces, and civilians in performing their duties or the nation with conscientiousness. Once again, she asked Thanpuying Maniratana Bunnag to write a poem with an uplifting message, and the result was & “Kwamfan An Sungsud” (“The Noblest Dream”). Thanpuying Maniratana said of the lyrics, that she was inspired by His Majesty himself, after years of intimate impressions of the King’s character and adroit dispensation of royal affairs. Her Majesty had the lyrics printed on a small card and distributed to government officials, the military and police forces, and civilians.

Later, Her Majesty asked His Majesty if he could come up with a melody to fit the poem. His Majesty rose to the challenge, and for the first time, in 1971, His Majesty fitted a melody to a lyric poem.

His Majesty asked M.L. Usni Pramoj to arrange the song. M.L. Usni considered this song a piece of functional music, produced to serve an immediate, specific purpose, in contrast to the inspired music of His Majesty’s previous works


Symphony No. 2, 4th & 5th Movements
Gustav Mahler

Mahler’s second symphony was many years in the making. In 1888, Mahler composed the first movement as a symphonic poem called Todtenfeier (Funeral Rites). For several years, he considered the possibility of using Todtenfeier as the basis for a symphony and, in 1893, wrote two more movements. The following year, Mahler added the song Urlicht (“Primal Light”) and a final fifth movement containing the Resurrection Hymn. It is from this hymn that the symphony gets its popular name.

The second symphony is a behemoth. It is scored for soprano and alto soloists, a large mixed chorus, and an unusually large orchestra. A typical performance lasts approximately 120 minutes. Today, the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Youth Orchestra will be performing the fourth and fifth movements, Urlicht (“Primal Light”) and Aufersteh’n (“Resurrection”).

Although Mahler himself did not use the title “Resurrection Symphony”, he did provide a program that fits this title.
The first movement celebrates a dead hero and the second represents sweet nostalgia. The third symbolizes darker memories and reflections on the seeming meaningless of life. The fourth and fifth movements together tell the story of the Last Judgment, redemption, and resurrection.

The fourth movement, “Urlicht”, is one of Mahler’s most beautiful songs. It is characterized by a high degree of metrical flexibility. Mahler sets each line of the text with new music, exquisitely tailored to fit its meaning.

The peace and calm of the fourth movement is shattered instantaneously by the ferocious opening of the finale.
The finale, the longest movement of the symphony, draws and builds on material presented in earlier movements. It opens with a low grumbling that recalls the first movement. An ascending scale motive can be heard as a symbol of resurrection. A march, with echoes of the Dies irae is heard, and the movement is punctuated by offstage trumpet and horn calls. When the last trumpet sounds from offstage, as Mahler describes, “we think we hear a nightingale in the farthest distance, like the last quivering echo of earthly life!” Following this moment of solitude, the Hymn of Resurrection begins softly. The text is adapted from a hymn that Mahler heard at the memorial service for his colleague, the great pianist, Hans von Bülow. “It struck me like lightning,” Mahler wrote, “and everything was revealed to my soul clear and plain.”

Conductor: Norman Huynh
Composer: Narongrit Dhamabutra
Choir Master: Kajornsak Kittimathaveenan
Pianist: Poom Prommachart
Pianist: Laurens Patzlaff
Soprano: Barbara Zion
Mezzo Soprano: Fiorella Hincapie’
Arranger: Wiwat Suthiyam
Saturday 28th January 2017 / 7.00 p.m.
at Main Hall, Thailand Cultural Center