Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Singapore Symphony Orchestra SSO in London Festival Hall - a triumphant return after two decades

Start with a bang and end with one too makes a good performance some say and Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) did precisely that just on its performance at London Festival Hall last Monday. Lan Shui, who is also the Chief Conductor of Copenhagen Philharmonic, led the orchestra through an almost two hours long performance to rapturous applause by an appreciative audience.

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From the deep rumblings of The Rhyme of Taigu to the melodic movements in Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, from the depressing hopelessness of The Isle of the Dead to the bubbling playfulness of La Mer, SSO marked its return to London after almost two decades with a maturity of an orchestra that has come of age.

I especially like the piano concerto, which Stephen Hough (see Hough's interview) performed as a guest player. The fluidity of his notes leaping out from the accompanying SSO fully brought forth the youthful naivety of the Mendelssohn piece.

Lan Shui wrapped up the evening with Bach's Orchestral Suite No.3 in D major - one of my favourite pieces, a fitting end of a magnificent performance by the SSO.

For fans of the SSO, you might be interested to know that SSO has very recently released a DVD and Blu-ray of Mahler’s 10th Symphony that the orchestra recorded to celebrate their 30th Anniversary season.

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