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).

28 July 2011

A lot of plucking - JPO's 3rd Season, 2nd Week

There was no overall theme in the second week, except that most of the pieces featured plucking by the strings of the orchestra. The first piece of the evening was Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony, which Britten apparently composed in his early teens. It is a wonderful string orchestra piece, with my personal favourite being the second movement "Playful Pizzicato", which is entirely strummed by the full orchestra (see a YouTube performance of it here).

South African viola player, Gina Beukes, was the soloist performing two pieces - Max Bruch's "Romance in F Major for Viola and Orchestra" and Paganini's "Sonata Per Le Gran Viola e Orchestra". Of the two pieces, Paganini's piece was certainly more entertaining, and seemed to have a lot more complex and demanding. The final movement is particularly impressive, as the viola leads the orchestra to the climax, and was performed again as the encore.

The last piece was Haydn's "Symphony no 103 - Drum Roll", starts with a drum roll on the Timpani, and is quite upbeat and merry piece. It was not as impressive as the viola pieces or as interesting as Britten's simple symphony, but it was a nice, relaxed way to end the performance.

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