16 July 2011

Spectacular Sounds

Image: healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Last night we enjoyed a fabulous concert by the NZSO, "Russian Soul" (free tickets, yay). The programme was:

MUSSORGSKY arr. RIMSKY KORSAKOV Night on Bald Mountain
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

The guest conductor, Pinchas Steinberg, didn't waste any time making eye contact with the various section leaders before starting, he just gave an authoritative flick of his baton and they were off. He lead all three pieces from memory. He seemed like a man who doesn't accept anything less than perfection.

According to the programme, "Night on Bald Mountain" is based on a very dark story, but I wouldn't have known it. After a dramatic beginning, it grew more beautiful as it went along. I sat there with a smile on my face, which only widened when the pianist took to the stage. Simon Trpceski was flamboyant, precise, at ease. He was literally bouncing off the piano stool. His effusive personality came to the fore when he introduced the encore, a Macedonian folk song arranged for piano trio. I felt for the cello player in particular - it was very difficult! When presented with a bouquet of flowers, he kissed the giftee three times, then threw the bouquet up into the crowd.

I enjoyed the Tchaikovsky too, ruminating on how music lifts the soul to a higher plain. Is there any other medium which can provoke emotion, put us at ease, bring us together and soothe our spirits? A life without music would be a poor life indeed.


P.S. Is anyone else excited that they're making another Winnie the Pooh movie? I love that kind of art too :-)

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