Wednesday, June 20, 2012

REVIEW: Johannes Moser with HKPO

Cultural Centre Concert Hall, Saturday June 16

Another HKPO concert and I was ready to not enjoy it. For those who were not following my blog, I was in some kind of indifference recently with the HKPO concerts (Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Garrick Ohlsson). I was not sure (and still am... I believe) whether the problem was my state of mind (been very busy recently) or the programs, the soloists or the orchestra… I was didn’t enjoy them. The fact that an HKPO (member of the orchestra) friend of mine, who I met just before this concert started, warned me that the program was “boring” did perhaps bring down my expectation.

Maestro Oleg Caetani, replacing Alexander Vedernikov, cut a handsome figure on stage. Yes, I can’t help but notice that in comparison to the different conductors that walked onto the concert hall stage, Caetani must be one of the fittest for his age! As for the music, the HKPO played throughout Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Overture with a vigorous attack and rhythmic energy that was most suitable to the music. It was a full-on performance that for a while reminded me of Rozhdestvensky.

The highlight of the evening came after the opening piece with cellist Johannes Moser playing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Moser also cut a handsome figure on and off stage (I know because he sat beside me across the aisle during the second half)! As for the music, Moser was absolutely stunning! While technically secure in managing tempo and intonation, Moser played with great warmth and awe-inspiring passion. His cello sang with great clarity and bite; sophistication ruled and Moser played the Andante sostenuto and Andante in such a way to melt one’s heart. Caetani and HKPO responded with the same intensity and sentiment. Moser was gracious enough to provide two encores: Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile and Bach’s Solo Suite No. 1 Sarabande.

After Moser, I was in very good mood! I was ready for Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite and gladly, the Caetani and the HKPO didn’t disappoint… in most part. For this performance, the HKPO compiled a mixture of 9 pieces from the complete ballet, suite 1 and 2; and the result was interestingly balanced. In general, it was a satisfying performance and in particular, the swagger of the Montagues and Capulets, the cheerfulness of the Dance and the gravity of Tybalt’s Death was beautifully captured.

Splendour of Russia
Russian Shakespeare: When Tchaikovsky Meets Moser
15&16-6-2012 Fri & Sat 8PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

TCHAIKOVSKY: Hamlet Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY: Rococo Variations
PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet Suite

Oleg Caetani, conductor
Johannes Moser, cello

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At June 22, 2012 at 1:00 AM , Anonymous Hung Sze Hang, Edison said...

I am glad that I pass by here. I had attained this concert too and is writing a chinese review on it.

I agree that Moser is absolutly wonderful. His playing is truely cantabile and breathe-taking!!

At June 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM , Blogger SATOSHI said...

HI EDISON! Thank you for dropping by :-) Please do feel free to provide me the link to your review and also LIKE my facebook page to be kept updated on my reviews :-)

At June 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM , Anonymous Hung Sze Hang, Edison said...

I usually write in Chinese, but here has some of my writing in English:


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