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VIDEO: Watch Vivian Chua 'Mercu Kegemilangan' as Part of MPOPlaysOn


A total of 11 works are featured in this digital audio collection, all of which were previously performed by the MPO.

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra has released Vivian Chua 'Mercu Kegemilangan' as part of its MPOPlaysOn series.

Chua says:

"In the work commissioned for its 20th Season, I aspired to encapsulate the spirit of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra as I saw it. To my mind, the MPO as an international orchestra comprises many different cultures and outlooks within its musicians, thus having a cross-section of their experiences ranging from classical to contemporary, local to global. As someone who has had the unique opportunity to arrange local songs in orchestral style for the MPO to perform since 2002, I decided to express my perspective as a Malaysian musician with a Western classical music education to celebrate what I think the MPO has come to be - an orchestra that has a rich repertoire covering a great many styles and an orchestra that has matured since its first concert in 1998. This is a piece that fuses Malaysian themes with Western Classical form and harmonies.

The word 'kegemilangan' takes on several meanings - glorious, scintillating and brilliant. It resonated with me because of its reference to light, celebration and joy, all of which I wanted to express. I wove in a 4-part choir vocalizing with the orchestra to celebrate our country coming together as a community.

Mercu Kegemilangan consists of 3 themes, starting off with a glorious fanfare for the first theme. It then develops into an expressive, pastoral second theme before progressing on to a lively third in a style of a popular local dance called the 'joget'. The piece returns to the fanfare of the first theme before recalling the second and third, ending with all 3 woven into each other to come to a grand close almost like a 'songket' (a traditional hand-woven brocade cloth in silk or cotton with intricate patterns of silver or gold threads for a shimmering effect). Throughout the piece, the themes interweave with each other in counterpoint to symbolize the tapestry of Malaysia."

Watch the video below!

Feast yourself to orchestral works by Malaysian composers as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) collaborates with the Malaysian Composers Collective (MCC) to present a digital audio collection themed MPOPlaysOn: Malaysian Composers Series - Vol. 1. The digital audio collection is made available on the MPO YouTube channel, MPO TV from 31 May 2021 onwards.

This digital audio collection features a wonderful selection of classical works by Malaysian composers under the MCC banner such as Vivian Chua, Johan Othman, Ng Chong Lim, Adeline Wong and Ahmad Muriz Che Rose.

A total of 11 works are featured in this digital audio collection, all of which were previously performed by the MPO at the MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers concerts from 2003 to 2006. Held at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, this project provided a platform for the composers to constructively exploit the benefit of intensive integration and interaction with musicians of the MPO, tutors and audience.

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