About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

29 May 2009

Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

I don't know the technicalities and the jargon of music - especially classical music. However, I really like listening to classical music - it is very different to rock, metal, jazz and hip=hop - there is a certain grandeur and complexity that is just not present in most modern music. There is also a certain air of "class" - performers are all dressed up and the audience is all dressed up in smart/formal wear. And although most of the audience is old grey haired pensioners, there are more than a few young people.

I came across the listing of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra by chance - and the lineu-up of russian composers was intriguing (not that I recognised any of the names). The first piece - Overture to Prince Igor (Alexander Borodin) - was comparatively short, and an excellent warm-up to the rest of the concert. The second piece, Piano Concerto No 3 in C Major (Sergei Prokofiev) featured Japanese soloist Ayano Shimada, and had a amazing conclusion. While the first parts were seemingly simple, the latter parts featured amazingly complex musical performance - both from the soloist and the supporting orchestra. The last piece was my favourite for the evening - Scheherazade, Opus 35 (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov) - a trully grand masterpiece involving a mix of a number of differenct musical instruments and sounds.

Apart from the music - two other thoughts: watching the conductor do his thing is quite a lot of fun and the guy who plays the cymbals had impecable timing, but looked quite bored most of the time. I am still not sure why the conductor is so valued, but his direction of various performers was quite amusing to watch.

Orchestral music is amazing in its complexity - the number of different parts and the timing of the various actors. I am really keen to go again - esp in two weeks time for the last concert of the current season featuring a few more Russian composers, only this time I know of them :)

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