Wednesday, November 23, 2011

REVIEW: Brooklyn Rider

Academy of Performing Arts Amphitheatre, Monday November 21

By reputation, I know I am in for an unusual performance; but that was not enough to prepare me for Monday night.

The concert, part of the Recital Series of Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, was fairly well-attended, but it started late as Eric Jacobsen (cellist) got the time wrong and over-slept. Luckily, the group was staying at the nearby Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The Brooklyn Rider is about identity rather than versatility. They are not about what the music has to say about the players, but rather what the players have to say about the music. While their programme were quite varied, it was with the same personality and style each piece was played. In contrast, this reminds me of the review I wrote about British cellist Steven Isserlis (click here). In an interview, he mentioned that, “You get musicians who are ‘character actors’, who change with each work they play; and then you get the stars, who are always recognisable no matter what character they play… I would like to be a character actor…” I don't have a particular preference; but instead, the result just has to make sense.

With Brooklyn Rider, their Glass, Jacobsen and Zorn made sense and were very effective; while their Mozart and Beethoven don't and were very disturbing.

To see my TIME-OUT HONG KONG review of their concert, click here.

Separately, I had the opportunity to buy Brooklyn Rider's recording of Philip Glass' music; and was able to compare it with Kronos Quartet's that is in my library. Amongst those same string quartets that are featured in both recordings, I would say that the Brooklyn Rider's has bit more force and urgent intensity to them; while Kronos Quartet delivers a cleaner shimmering sound and more meditative in feel. I am glad that I have both, but if I am forced to recommend one... hmmm... I will go with Brooklyn Rider's.

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At November 29, 2011 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous HT said...

Thanks for writing this review Satoshi, I now get it, was a bit baffled before..DUH:)I 'LIKE'!!!


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