Thursday, February 17, 2011

REVIEW: Simon Trpceski with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Cultural Center Concert Hall, Saturday February 12

"Simon Trpceski was tsunamied by the HKPO", I tweeted during the interval.

The programme gave a chronological perspective of Rachmaninov's compositions, but the uneven performances of the pieces distracted the audience from truly appreciating his development as a composer.

The Scherzo in D minor was an interesting piece on the basis that it is rarely included in a programme. The piece started off perky and promising but slowly became plain.

The Piano Concerto No. 2 was quite a disappointment. Simon Trpceski provided beautifully balanced opening chords, and then disappeared. While the orchestra carries the melody and the piano accompanies it, the orchestra was so loud (not to be mistaken as lush) that the piano doesn't seem to even exist. And when finally the piano surfaced from the orchestra, it just carried on the same blandness the orchestra offered. By the time the first movement ended in C minor fortissimo, I was just too glad. The other two movements didn't improve.

It is very difficult to make the Vocalise sounds bad and the HKPO didn't, but then it didn't do much either. The playing was almost mechanical.

What saved the night was the Symphonic Dances. Whatever the wrong things the HKPO seemed to be doing up to this point suddenly felt right thing for this piece. Edo maintained an excellent control on the speed and gave a performance free of excess sentiments.

TrpĨeski plays Rach 2
11 & 12-2-2011 Fri & Sat 8PM

RACHMANINOV: Scherzo in D minor
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2*
RACHMANINOV: Symphonic Dances

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Edo de Waart, Conductor
Simon Trpceski, Piano*

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