Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5 (Cont’d)

Before Friday’s concert, as usual I met and dined with Samuel. He led me to the newly opened Food Republic in Suntec. It’s really a great place to dine. Very nicely decorated in an old fashioned library, clean and cool. Nonetheless the most important part, the fried fish soup I ordered was gorgeous and cheap.

Back to music. The first half of the concert was Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major. I like the second movement particularly. Sweet, slow and smooth, these are what I’d like to hear from piano rather than dramatic skills show off. Indeed, for piano, it’s even tougher to perform a slow piece like it’s not easy to link pearls into a necklace.

After the intermission was my long expected Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5. The sorrow theme was started by the clarinets with string accompaniment. This is the "complete resignation before Fate", which some reviewers believed to be a sign of the composer’s going towards homosexuality. Dialoges between the winds and strings enbodied the fate and attempts. The second movement was led by strings and soon a solo horn, which is rare in symphony. Sweet and sorrow, vivid and profound, this melody explained the composer’s sidenotes on the score "how I love you". It was such a touching one, the monster was feeling his eyes wet. Before the tear drops, the "fate" overwhelmed the hall from strings. "attemps" came back as well, however "fate" is fate. Waltz in the third movement let audience temporarily forget about all the unhappiness. However "fate" theme came back again and scattered all the dreams. The finale is the most interesting and controversial part. "fate" theme ironicly returned in variation, heroically and brilliantly. Sounds as if a victory march insteady of the tragic fate. Tchaikovsky himself ever doubted about this symphony. In his letter to von Meck:"There is something so repellent about such excess, insincerity and artificiality", "too colourful, massive, insincere, drawn out and on the whole very unsympathetic …" This doubt, which I believe, is the motivation behind Symphony No.6 "Pathetique". That’s the real "complete resignation before Fate" and after which "death".

SSO’s performence was satisfying. I would rate it 7.5 out of 10, considering still so eary in the season. An intimate evening with music before my paper weekend T_T.


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