It seems to be quite a while I didn’t pen down a single word on music. Anyway I dun do this for a living.
Now is the time to show that I am never far away from music and log something for the past season.
I continued my almost routine concerts attendance, with my dearest or with my music buddies. I didn’t really count, but at least 40+ concerts/opera/musical for the past season. Of course, classical music still on the center of stage here.
SSO continued to be my daily meal. They did great job. However like most orchestras they have their own form, sometime excellent sometime so so.
Luckily visiting orchestras and musical travels are the supplements to my main course.During the past season, I’ve heard Los Angeles Philharmonic (LAP) and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, St. Thomas boys choir and more recently the Deutsche Symphony Orchestra, Berlin, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Dresden Staatskapelle.
For LAP, a top 10 in the new Gramophone ranking. I had a high expectation, maybe too high. The perfermance of "La Mer" was great, but I can’t say it’s better than what I heard from the SSO’s interpretation of "La Mer" on their SACD release. Of course, this recording is the best for SSO over the years and confirmed by many critics. And comparing live performance with recorded music does not make much sense.
RPO with Slatkin played a safer way here by playing the Enigma Variations. The "Nimrod" was so memorable that the applause immediate after was the most sincere I ever heard. Not an improper or naive one in between movements. Opening the night was William Walton’s suite for Henry V, another surprising work. (Realized choosing MacMillan’s "The confession of Isobel" my favorite contemporary classical music, I find myself towards the British music again. Yes, I’m a big fan of British pop/rock too!)
Though shadowed by their derby Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Deutsche Symphony Orchestra is also performing at high level as one of the major orchestras in Berlin. The horn section was superb. Strings was also refined and disciplined. Probably the only problem of that night was slightly lack of power for Bruckner’s symphony No. 7.
Japanese orchestras seldom tour. This is my first time hearing a Japanese orchestra live. Like other products from Japan, they are generally known for their quality, in musically terms technical skills and refinement of execution. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra not only showed this but also a disciplined and wooden European sound. I guess credit goes to the conductor Kazuhiro Koizumi and their music director Inbal
Couple of weeks ago, I heard Dresden Staatskapelle (another top 10 in the gramophone’s new list) in Hong Kong. I’ll blog more together with my Hong Kong trip.
(All photos are from Internet)