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).

13 February 2014

JPO's 1st 2014 Season, 2nd Concert

For a pair of concerts that precede Valentine's Day, most of the music was rather a reflection of broken hearts instead of love and happiness. And all the music was Russian - although there wasn't a link between the nationality and the somberness of the music! Daniel Boico was back (for this week only unfortunately) as the conductor, and, once again he brought great energy to the performance.

The concert did start off brightly - Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. It's a great piece - especially the solos featuring the oboe and the clarinet. It was a great start to the concert. The concerto, featured German cellist, Peter Bruns, playing Shostakovich's 2nd Cello Concerto. The cello, by default is quite a somber instrument, and the piece itself, was quite somber - even when there was some fanfare or brightness - it seemed to be quickly extinguished.

The final piece, was Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony - Pathetique.If there is one piece of music that traces the journey from happiness to sadness and despair - this is probably the best candidate. It even has a great flourish that promises happily ever after, at the end of the 3rd movement; to be brought crushingly down to despair in the final movement.

It was not the best Valentine's Day concert (but then again, it wasn't advertised as such) - but it was still a great concert with superb performances all round.

Lang Lang and Metallica

It is not the first time that Metallica has merged metal with classical, but the collaboration with Lang Lang at the Grammy's is just mind blowing - not only how Lang Lang perfectly fits into the metal performance guise; but also how well the piano merges with a Metallica classic.

09 February 2014


I have been planning my next trip the last few weeks, and a new website - Rome2rio - has been an amazing help for working out travelling options. Combining the full set of bus, taxis, public transport, flights and ferries - it has been a great help in working out the best way to travel between two points - especially when my trip covers quite a wide set of cities in a constrained time period. I have been most impressed by some more off beat suggestions it has thrown up; things that even some tourism sites and travel companies don't mention. Definitely one of the best travel planing websites around!