Friday, June 3, 2011

REVIEW: Pekka Kuusisto with HKPO

Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall, Saturday May 28

I was late. With my auto-pilot mode on, I traveled from Hong Kong to Kowloon just to notice that the usual HKPO Saturday crowd seems to be less, younger and more Chinese. Well, it was not the HKPO crowd, instead it was the HKCO (Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra) crowd. Oh well, I took the MTR and went to the Hong Kong City Hall to catch the last minute of beautifully played Sibelius' Ratastava.

For the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5, Pekka Kuusisto took the center stage to direct and play the solo part. In general, it was good. Kuusisto gave a hearty rather than a subtle account of the Turkish concerto. The orchestra, on the other hand accompanied buoyantly. On the other hand, the Mozart Divertimento in D K136 was uninspired.

The Sibelius Suite for Violin and String Orchestra Op.117 was a welcome break from the previous two Mozart. The first movement was played with an old fashion zest, while the second movement was a bit too lingering. The lively third movement was executed in brilliant breakneck speed; though there were some moments of smudges.

Haydn Symphony No. 88 was a mixed bag. It was tediously exciting most of the time, but the fourth movement had some of the best Haydn playing I've ever heard from HKPO, providing the perfect ending to an evening that was as entertaining as I imagine a Justin Bieber concert can be. I didn't wait for an encore as my drink is waiting for me in M Bar.

I Love Mozart!
27 & 28-5-2011
Fri & Sat 8PM
Hong Kong City Hall
Concert Hall

SIBELIUS - Rakastava
MOZART - Violin Concerto No. 5 Turkish
MOZART - Divertimento in D, K136
SIBELIUS - Suite for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 117
HAYDN - Symphony No. 88

Pekka Kuusisto - director / violin

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