Isyana Sarasvati sings 'Les Filles de Cadix' accompanied by the Jakarta Concert Orchestra. (Photo courtesy of Image Dynamics)

Jakarta Concert Orchestra Enthralls Audience With Dance-Inspired Show


FEBRUARY 02, 2018

Jakarta. Each song at the "Invitation to the Dance" concert at the Jakarta Theater received boisterous applause on Wednesday night (31/01).

The Jakarta Concert Orchestra was led by renowned conductor Avip Priatna, who is also the founder and music director of Batavia Madrigal Singers, The Resonanz Children's Choir, and The Resonanz Music Studio.


For the Invitation, Avip collaborated with young musicians — soprano Isyana Sarasvati and pianist Jonathan Kuo — to attract a younger audience to classical music.

"Invitation to the Dance," a waltz written by German composer Carl Maria von Weber, opened the concert at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta. The waltz tells a story of a man inviting a woman to dance.

"I chose the theme to invite the audience to enjoy songs that are inspired by dances," Avip said,

It was also a way to pay homage to Weber, who was the first to compose a waltz for piano and move it from dance venues to concert halls in the early 1800s.

The Jakarta Concert Orchestra took the audience around the world with classical music masters.

The second piece was "Spanish Dance" from Manuel de Falla's "La Vida Breve" opera. The song celebrates the betrothal of Paco, a wealthy man who abandons a gypsy lover to marry a woman of his own class.

Then the orchestra played Gabriel Faure's "Pavane," a composition inspired by a slow processional dance that was performed at European courts. It begins with mid-tempo pizzicato that is followed by a flute solo, before other instruments join.

After the pavane came "Panen Raya," a lively and playful piece about the harvest season, written by composer Fero Aldiansya Stefanus especially for the concert.

"There are slow parts. But there are also sounds mimicking the plucking of crops, the sounds of birds and buffalos," Avip said.

Jonathan Kuo played Franz Liszt's famous "Totentanz" ("Dance of the Dead"). The great 19th-century Hungarian composer was known for his fascination with death his dance combines intense, grim passages with beautifully flowing ones. The intricate composition was played flawlessly by the 15-year-old pianist.

Jonathan Kuo plays Franz Liszt's 'Totentanz.' (Photo courtesy of Image Dynamics)

After Edvard Grieg's "Norwegian Dances," Avip invited Isyana to the stage. Known as a pop singer, especially for "Keep Being You" and "Kau Adalah," Isyana does not often perform a classical repertoire, but in the concert she fully displayed the power of her voice with Leo Delibes's "Les Filles de Cadix," and "Fruhlingsstimmen," an orchestral waltz with soprano by Johann Strauss II.

Isyana graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Singapore's Royal College of Music.

"Every time I sing classical music, it feels like coming home. I started from there. Avip was one of my teachers, my mentors in music. I am happy to collaborate with him again and perform songs by my favorite composers such as Strauss," she said.

The night closed with the thrilling "Danse Bacchanale" by Camille Saint-Saëns, leaving the audience awed and bursting into loud applause.