Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MPYO European Dances & Dreams

Hi all.  I watched MPYO concert yesterday entitled European Dances & Dreams.  It was a long camp for all the members and they still have another concert coming up where they get to play side-by-side with the MPO members.  How absolutely fortunate they are to be given such opportunity.  If only I'm good enough for such orchestra, I would probably be giving reviews on how the camp has been.  Since I'm not, so I just tell you what I think of the end product of all their hard work.  Before I get into details, a job well done to all MPYO members.  Overall, it was a pretty good performance.

The concert was opened with a music by Saint-Saens titled Bacchanale from Samson et Delilah.  Pretty simple piece and enjoyable to the ears.  Love the arabic scale within the melody, gave the exoticism spirit of the 19th century.  Then from Saint-Saens they moved to Bruch where they played Concerto for Clarinet and Viola in E minor.  First and for most, I have to say I have never heard of such combination prior to this concert.  So, it was definitely something very interesting to watch.  Good job to the two soloists; Ai Wen Thian on the viola and Jeremy Tan on the clarinet.  They both played beautifully together.  The only problem I have is that I feel like because of the timbre of the viola, every time the strings joined in, the solo viola passages just disappeared in the orchestra with the other strings instruments.  It's either that...or the strings were just too loud.  Bruch really did a good job in giving beautiful, lyrical melodies to the soloists and it was actually a nice concerto.  I'm surprised it is not commonly performed.

After the interval, the much awaited music by Berlioz was about to start.  Symphonie fantastique, the famous piece by Berlioz that becomes an important part of history of music nowadays.  Generally, I can see that everyone is saving up their energy for the last two movements.  Not surprising really, the last two movements are quite famous among all five movements.  My least favourite movement that they performed would be the 3rd movement.  I just feel like the 3rd movement should be a beautiful and calming movement, but somehow it just felt boring...like everyone is not into the music and just can't wait to get to the next movement.  However, they made it up with the last two movements.  Good job to the brass section during the fourth movement, the horn section was definitely so much better than the last time I listened to them.  Which was probably last year, LOL.

Generally, for all pieces, they deserve some credits for their hard work.  As for the strings section, I'm not sure if the concert master was nervous or if he was leading for the first time...but the entire 1st violin kind of moved more than he did.  Which was weird to watch.  Also, I noticed that the inside players of 1st violin were more active than the outside player...which was also weird to watch.  LOL.  There were a lot of times where parts of the bow were everywhere.  Some use tip, some use middle and some use lower half.  Now I get the idea of how important visual appearance look really because it did not look very pretty.  At first I thought, maybe there's a divisi part that asked for this kind of thing.  But then again, if there was, there should be a consistent patterns throughout the entire section...but there wasn't any, so it can't be a divisi.  Not only in the 1st violin really, but throughout the strings section.  These are some of the common things that people always say, but I never truly understand them but at that moment, I got what they meant.  Visual appearance do reflect how audience feel about the performance.

But other than that, good show.  Good job MPYO.  Keep it up.  Good luck for the other concert coming up, I won't be able to watch that one since I'm working.  That's all from me for now, so goodbye! ^_^


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