NEWS & REVIEWS
Glowing and warm
The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation presented the "RBSO Classical Concert No.3" programme earlier this month and featured the return of the exceptionally gifted Taiwanese-American concert pianist Weiyin Chen. The brilliant New York-based classical star last visited in 2013 for a magnificent performance of the Grieg piano concerto, and on this occasion once again captivated an appreciative audience with an equally moving account of one of Mozart's very finest and challenging compositions, Piano Concerto No.23 In A Major, K.488.
Taiwanese pianist Weiyin Chen returns to play with RBSO
Few names in classical music are as dreaded and venerated as New York Times reviewer Anthony Tommasini. The lanky writer, expressionless, tieless, inevitably seated on the aisle in Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, gives little indication of his thoughts during a performance. But within 24 hours, his printed judgements will have reached millions. And like a Roman Emperor signalling "up" or "down" to a gladiator, his opinions to a young artist can mean professional life or death.
RBSO's principal clarinettist takes centre stage
The Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO) opened their 2018 season brilliantly with "Classical Concert No.1" inside the Small Hall of the Thailand Cultural Centre on Jan 25, showcasing a star player from their own ranks -- principal clarinettist and esteemed soloist Yos Vaneesorn. The return of much-admired visiting Japanese conductor Hide Shindori was also a welcome choice, inspiring the RBSO to perform with much energy and commitment.
Massaging the tempo
The pursuit of Mozartian clarity of tone and intonation are most certainly among the chief objectives of any cello soloist as they take to the platform with an orchestra to perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's perfectly conceived Variations On A Rococo Theme Op.33. The Romantic-era composer modelled this audience favourite on the example of his Classical-era idol, although the delightful A-major theme itself is the composer's own, not borrowed. What is not quite so Mozartian is the high percentage of time the soloist is required to play in high registers at the upper end of the fingerboard, in a demanding thumb-position, not to mention the fiendishly difficult string-crossing passage-work that must be negotiated just as constant streams of scurrying semiquavers & demisemiquavers give the soloist a thoroughly good workout, with precious few bars in which he may rest before the next virtuoso entry.
A rare piece of Tchaikovsky
So you thought you knew everything about Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky? His morbid Pathetique? His romantic Romeo And Juliet? His warmongering 1812 Overture? Well, think again. Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra is offering on Friday a major work by Tchaikovsky which is rarely played these days -- but counts, in its original form, as one of the most celebrated works in the history of music.