Monday, April 23, 2012

REVIEW: Strauss, Adams, de Waart and HKPO

Cultural Centre Concert Hall, Saturday April 14

Life is good to allow me to attend this concert, yet life is not good enough to allow me the luxury to write about it. Work is definitely occupying a huge portion of my waking hours and all the more I value being able to go and hear HKPO. I will keep this short as I am behind in my writing.

Farewell to Edo: Dream Harmonies is de Waart second to last concert, BUT the tension is definitely in the air. The hall was definitely fuller than usual as some people who can’t get tickets to the finale concert, came to this one. The first half was devoted to Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote, Op. 35. Personally, while I am a big fan of Strauss, this piece is not really my cup of tea… in fact, I think it is nice silly little piece. This “Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character” while being one of his more complex orchestral score, I find its musical development forced and manufactured. Setting my personal bias aside, the performance was dignified, sympathetic and most importantly, not melo-dramatic. Richard Bamping gave an expressive and characterized performance of the solo part.

The second half was the real meat of the concert. John Adam’s Harmonielehre is a splendid and potent composition and de Waart and the HKPO went all out with it. The most stunning part of this performance was the way the sounds were balanced and subtly shifting while it went through the highs and lows. This subsequently not only highlighted the textures lucidly, but also provided that just-the-right-amount shimmer that straddled sophistication and brute power! What a magnificent performance!!!

Edo de Waart Festival
Farewell to Edo - Dream Harmonies
13&14-4-2012 Fri & Sat 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

R STRAUSS: Don Quixote
JOHN ADAMS: Harmonielehre

Edo de Waart

Andrew Ling

Richard Bamping

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