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).

16 May 2014

JPO's 2nd 2014 Season, 2nd Concert

Pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi is quite amusing to watch on stage - he is often playing with his eyes closed (lost in the music perhaps), his facial gestures are amusing - especially his eyebrows moving up and down; often with no relation to the actual music, and when he has a break and the orchestra takes over completely, he hangs his hands to his side as if he is completely exhausted. Over and above the amusing show; his performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto was amazing. I have heard it before at the JPO, but this performance was somehow far more engaging and interesting.

On either side of the Schumann concerto, were orchestral pieces by Mendelssohn - Overture to A Midsummer's Night Dream and Symphony No 3. The overture was fun, and interesting; and the symphony had its moments - but it was the concerto that was the highlight of the evening.

11 May 2014

JPO's 2nd 2014 Season, 1st Concert

The 1st concert of the new season, literally started with a bang - the opening percussion for Rossini's Overture to The Thieving Magpies. Bright, and upbeat (despite the nature of the tale); it was a great piece to start the new season. The JPO, led by celebrated South African conductor Conrad van Alphen, put on a great show to a nearly full house; a welcome change from the half full houses in the past concerts this year.

A crowd favourite, Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 followed the overture, this time being performed by another celebrated South African musician - Nina Schumann. It's a piece I love, and was performed expertly by the soloist and the orchestra. The orchestrated version of Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition finished off the evening - and was certainly a great selection of classical music.