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).

23 October 2011

20th Century Pieces - JPO's 4th Season 3rd Concert

It was a hot Sunday afternoon; but instead of dozing off, I decided to go see the JPO playing in Pretoria. The Pretoria concerts are never full house, and the attendance was even sparser today.

The concert started off with the most recent piece - Benjamin Britten's Suite on English Folk Tunes, op.90. It was a medley of tunes, most notable in how certain movements focused on specific instruments - like the woodwind and percussion in one; or the violins in another. Not really sure of what to make of it really.

Cellist Maria Kliegel performed Elgar's Cello Concerto before the break. The piece is stunning - especially how the orchestra and the soloist feeds off each other in their various parts; and it was a brilliant performance from the soloist. I quite like the melancholic sound of the cello, and this piece captured the mood after World War 1 perfectly.

I did not like Shostakovich's 9th Symphony the previous time I heard it performed; perhaps I just didn't pay enough attention. The bassoon solo in the 4th movement, is absolutely haunting (supposed to capture the mood of a Jewish man praying, after WW2 according to the program); the brass sections give a resounding military feel, but at the same time, it seems more like a celebration than a mourning. Perhaps it was just a masterful performance - regardless, it was great to listen to; and totally reverses my opinion on the piece.

No comments: