Tuesday, June 22, 2010

REVIEW: Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

The concert was sold-out weeks before the performance for a few good reasons. Both Bell and the ASMF have gained world-class standing in their respective fields so that when the two came together, one just had to be there to witness the perfect storm.


This is another review I wrote for the Time-Out Hong Kong online version. American violinist Joshua Bell and the British chamber orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Fields performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 16th of June. To read the review, kindly follow the link below. Hope you like it and thank you for visiting my blog.

http://www.timeout.com.hk/big-smog/blog/35088/joshua-bell-and-the-asmf-live-in-hong-kong.html


Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall Wednesday June 16

American violinist Joshua Bell and the British chamber orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Fields delivered a straight, strong and stimulating performance.

The concert was sold-out weeks before the performance for a few good reasons. Both Bell and the ASMF have gained world-class standing in their respective fields so that when the two came together, one just had to be there to witness the perfect storm.

The impact was immediate. The concert opened with Beethoven’s Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62, a story-telling concert overture with two contrasting themes of Coriolan’s own determination to fight and the plea of Coriolan’s mother to desist. The piece was dramatized with remarkable weight, full-toned sound and unanimity of rhythm.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, one of the most popular and frequently performed violin concertos of all time, followed. The crispness and transparency of Bell’s playing at the very start practically defined the distinctive character of the rest of his performance of the concerto. The 2nd movement was melodious without any hint of drag. The 3rd movement was gripping and unrushed with Bell’s chaste precision in brisk passageworks.

After the interval came Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92. The ASMF infused the piece with spontaneity and resilience of rhythm that resulted in a massive, powerful and exciting performance. The fast speeds seemed to all grow out organically therefore bringing forward a higher sense of involvement. This was received with thunderous applause.

After a long courtship, and much to the audience's delight, Bell and the ASMF finally gave in to an encore playing Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro Overture.

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1 Comments:

At June 29, 2010 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sadly the BA computer system is unavle to allow me to read your time out published crits. This is a shame as \I want to read them whilst waiting for my plane to Istanbul to be called. Perhaps you would be good enough to send them to my hotmail account at tony_mark51@hotmail.com

 

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