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.

The idea 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 year.

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