The Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts is currently hosting its annual Chorus Festival. Six Choirs from around the world are showcasing their talents. CCTV reporter Qi Wei went along to listen to one choir who have lots of expectations placed on their shoulders.
Qi Wei, Beijing, said, "When people talk about Salzburg, images of Mozart, Karajan or the “Sound of Music” comes to mind. Well here at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing the renowned Salzburg Folk Song Choir is bringing their haunting voices to China’s capital."
This is the first time the 60-year-old Austrian choir has performed in China. Established in 1950, the choir has become well known for their quintessential Austrian style, from the songs through to their costumes.
Prof. Burgi Votterl, Conductor, said, "Our special hearts beat for the folk songs. And the folk songs in Austria are songs of the daily life."
The homeland of great musicians including Mozart, Salzburg seems to have its soul steeped in music. The choir therefore has big boots to fill. But it’s not just classical music filling the concert hall here. Folk songs mix with classical and even pop music to create a unique and eclectic set.
Reinhold Wieser, Musician, said, "We mix it a little bit with Mozart, sound of music. You can see it’s not like a philharmonic player. It’s traditional cloth and traditional music. The roots of music are traditional."
In order to ensure their music is appealing to the Beijing audience, the choir’s accompanying musicians also give a well-applauded performance of the famous Chinese folk song "Jasmine." The visitors are confident that Chinese audiences will enjoy the night.
Burgi Votterl &Reinhold Wieser, Conductor &Musician, said, "I think the Chinese audience like some things, our clothes, our nose... No, it’s a joke... The music, the feeling, what’s up in front of the Alps, or in the Alps. I think they’ll like it."
"Yes, our music is the origin of music for Mozart, Haydn, maybe a little bit Beethoven, a little bit Schubert. It’s the basic for them and they took it and made it great."
Although it’s a Wednesday evening, the concert hall at the NCPA is packed. Many come with their children and family.
Audience Member, said, "My daughter is a member of her school’s choir. So it’s good for her to see this concert and see how choirs from overseas perform."
"We don’t know much about music from Salzburg but their performance seems to give us peace. That’s why I’m bringing my son to this concert. I want him to broaden his sights of the world and discover different cultures and different ways of living."
The Austrian choir will tour China and perform 11 concerts in all. The troupe says they have also prepared a little treat for Chinese audiences.