Thursday, June 2, 2011

REVIEW: Perry’s Symphonie Fantastique with HKPO


Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, Saturday May 21

I will continue to keep this short. As I endeavor to review every show I have seen, it is most unfortunate that the spare time I have for writing is currently disproportionate to the performances. In fact, I am currently avoiding any more performances!

This concert seemed quite promising. The programme was varied but has a common fantastical-exotic theme to them. Fung Lam's Unlocking was 'interesting'; and there's no asteism involved here. While it didn't seem to have a clear narrative, it did impart a sense of journey to the unknown and resolved beautifully with a sense of attainment.

Ravel's Sheherazade, sang by the Argentinian mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack, got my attention the most. Not only because Sheherazade is one of my favorite song-cycles, Daniela Mack's creamy dark timbre and clear articulation infused the cycle a languid and sensual femininity. Perry So also provided an ample support with masterly colors. The balance between the voice and orchestra was achieved at the expense of neither.

Now to Perry's Symphonie Fantastique... for some reason, I find the whole piece brash, affected and overwrought. Mind you, the audience loved it. Objectively, I do see that it fitted Berlioz's call for intensity and luminosity, but subjectively, I had difficulty connecting to the playing as I felt I was being forced to feel it rather than actually lured to feeling something.

_____

Perry’s Symphonie Fantastique
20 & 21-5-2011
Fri & Sat 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

FUNG LAM - Unlocking (Asian Première)
RAVEL - Shéhérazade
(Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano)
BERLIOZ - Symphonie Fantastique

Perry So - conductor

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