The legend of Thanh Giong, one of four immortals of Vietnamese folk
belief, was introduced to German friends for the first time in an
orchestral piece performed by the Berliner Symphoniker at Philharmonie
Hall, Berlin, on February 24.
The piece is composed by Vietnamese musician and pianist Ton That An, who is better known by his stage name of Asken.
An, 42, is also an accomplished singer and songwriter who has made two
albums, including Circlesong (2005) and Hyperbody (2010) with the
latter recorded in Paris, Taipei and Chicago.
to stage the piece was initiated after conductor Lior Shambadal and his
orchestra made a performance tour to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City last
With the combination of monochord, Vietnamese
traditional musical instrument, the performance drew the enthusiastic
applause of German audiences.
The legend of Thanh
Giong manifests Vietnamese people’s determination to fight against
foreign invaders as well as the strength of young Vietnamese people.
As the legend goes, Saint Giong was born to a single woman after she
put her foot on a giant footprint in the field. However, the boy could
not speak, laugh or cry despite he was three years old. Upon hearing
the news of an invasion from the North, he asked the King to grant him
an iron horse, an iron stick and an iron armour. When the things were
brought to him, the boy turned into a giant and used the weapons to
defeat the aggressors to save his country and people. After that he
rode his horse to fly up the heaven. Until these days, he has been
worshipped as an immortal.-VNA