Wednesday, February 9, 2011

REVIEW: Michael Chance with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong

City Hall, Tuesday January 25

This is a review I wrote for Time-Out Hong Kong just before I left for my London/Berlin trip. For some reason, the last paragraph of my review didn't come out. I suspect that my editor who is on vacation right now must have missed it. In any case, here is the last paragraph:

"Britten’s Variation on a Theme of Frank Bridge was the very work that brought Britten to international attention. Britten studied with Frank Bridge and when commissioned to write a new work for the Salzburg Festival, Britten took as his theme the second of Bridge's Three Idylls for string quartet, Op. 6, No. 2. Layton drew a performance full of color, variety and nuance, highlighting the original intention of each variation as a tribute to the different aspects of Bridge’s character."



I have to say that countertenor voice is an acquired taste. The renewed interest in early music has definitely seen an increased popularity of this voice. While many new countertenors may have dazzling talent in maneuvering through florid coloratura passages or soaring through high notes, it was English countertenor Michael Chance’s eloquence that set him apart.

To read my review of the concert, just click the below link:

http://www.timeout.com.hk/music/features/39927/michael-chance-live.html

February 19 2011:
P.S. The last paragraph of the review has now been added to the Time-Out Hong Kong online vesrison

_____

Posted in Time-Out Hong Kong on January 26 2011

Michael Chance Live
4 out of 5 stars

Many new countertenors may have dazzling talent in maneuvering through florid coloratura passages or soaring through high notes, but it was English countertenor Michael Chance’s eloquence that set him apart. Joining him in his Hong Kong debut was English conductor Jonathan Layton and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.
The concert opened with Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 in E minor, nicknamed “Trauersinfonie” or “Mourning Symphony” because it was reported that Haydn once said that its slow movement should be played at his own funeral. Layton and the orchestra performed with great style and commitment resulting in an even and traditional rendition.

One of Vivaldi’s most gorgeous sacred works for solo voice, Nisi Dominus RV608, followed. While the text is not long, the work is in nine movements. Here, Chance’s singing brought out moving pathos through caringly shaped inflections, while the orchestra played with sensibility and was paced with restraint, keeping the attention focused on the voice.

Meanwhile, in the four Handel arias, Chance’s voice showed a bit of strain in the higher registers, though his breath control was remarkable. His encore piece, Purcell’s Music for a While, further showed his ability to get inside a song and paint each word touchingly.

The concert concluded with Britten’s Variation on a Theme of Frank Bridge, the very work that brought Britten to international attention. Britten studied with Frank Bridge and when commissioned to write a new work for the Salzburg Festival, Britten took as his theme the second of Bridge's Three Idylls for string quartet, Op. 6, No. 2. Layton drew a performance full of color, variety and nuance, highlighting the original intention of each variation as a tribute to the different aspects of Bridge’s character.

Satoshi Kyo

Labels: , , , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home