Monday, August 19, 2013

The Classics At The Proms & Royal Opera House

The beautiful Royal Albert Hall always has such rich offerings. Love rock gigs held here. Did you watch that gig of The Killers at this venue? That was quite awesome. Not so sure how The Killers will be like when they play in Singapore on 21 September for F1. Totally love some of the classical concerts too. Had to do some homework on what's happening during this period. There's always something exciting happening. Was spoilt for choice, and as time is limited, had to narrow the performances to those that I truly wanted to watch.


Prom 33 :: Mitsuko Uchida :: Beethoven and Berlioz

I've watched Mitsuko Uchida play live twice. And I wanted to watch her for a third time. While watching the Wimbledon finals on tv last month, spotting her in the audience (how to miss her trademark eyebrows and those dramatic sunnies chosen for the day???) reminded me to check the concert calendar even though I knew she was on a summer break. Glad to find out that she would be performing at the BBC Proms.

Accompanied by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestara conducted by Mariss Jansons, Mitsuko Uchida played Prom 33 with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.

I love her eyebrows. Not as much as I love her playing though.


Prom 35 :: The Resurrection Symphony

How cute it is to see Mariss Jansons again the next night at Prom 35 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Choir and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for Mahler's Symphony No.2 in C minor 'Resurrection'. I didn't pay attention to the choir or the sopranos. I was really there to listen to the orchestra. The singers, were a little distracting.

Not that I'm this big fan of Mariss Jansons, although he's a very fun yet stern conductor, but I like Gustav Mahler's works that are of a different nature than the usual late-Romantic period compositions. Most of the friends aren't hot about Mahler. It's quite difficult persuading them to join me in an evening of Mahler. Hahahahah.

Anyway, whether she liked it or not, the BFF got dragged out to this concert. She's more of a Mozart person. I wanted to hear another European orchestra's interpretation (aside from the Berlin Philharmonic) of Mahler's not too conformative works. What we heard tonight played by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, was beautiful.


Bolshoi Ballet :: Jewels

Didn't take long to purchase tickets to Bolshoi Ballet's new production of George Balanchine's 'Jewels'. I wasn't too hot about Bolshoi Ballet's upcoming November repertoire in Singapore, and no matter at which venue, I really didn't want to watch them dance 'Swan Lake' a third time; this was the perfect opportunity to watch them in something non-classical. 

Bolshoi Ballet is sterling in their portrayal of classical pieces. Not too sure about their surprising choice in 'Jewels'. It's a full length ballet made up of three acts (Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds) completely unrelated to one another, and without plots, the entire ballet moves like a disjointed contemporary piece. 

Each act uses a different composer and piece of music, all rather contrasting. Emeralds uses Fauré, Rubies uses Stravinsky, and Diamonds uses Tchaikovsky. It falls entirely on the respective leads to bring out the exacting requirements of the movements. Beautiful jewel-color-themed costumes. It honestly felt a bit odd, but the company's shining new young leads managed to put on a brilliant performance. Bit awkward here and there, but overall, it was fine. I liked it.


tuti said...

you.. caught.. THE MITSUKO UCHIDA!! *screams and cries!!*
she never came to singapore. waited for her for like .. 30 years now.
i like her Mozart playing. like the air, as she puts it. so much animated movement and producing notes so lilting sweet. *sigh* you're one lucky gal! :)

imp said...

i'm sure you've noticed that she plays with no scores in front of her. i'm like awestruck.

tuti said...

i like when she conducts the orchestra with her head and hand! always want to cry when i see her perform. so emo can die. :P