2015/16 Concert Season: Salon Concert

This is apparently an NSO tradition: the salon concert to kick off the season and/or celebrate the release of the program for the upcoming year, and I was thrilled to have been included. The program is below, followed by some thoughts I had during the program, followed by a recap. click here for a readable version I didn’t know much about it before it was mentioned to me, and to be perfectly honest, it seemed like something I wouldn’t be too interested in. I’m not a fan of medleys or performances of excerpts and all that, and this ‘salon concert’ … Continue reading 2015/16 Concert Season: Salon Concert

Concert Review: Yuja Wang Piano Recital

It’s all Scriabin and Chopin. And then Islamey. And encores. This is another one of those things I’m terrified of missing out on. If I had to travel some long distance to buy a ticket and attend, that’s one thing, but when it’s within walking distance (sort of), I don’t really have any excuse not to go. It’s also bragging rights, if nothing else. It’s just a nice experience to have, to say I was able to see so-and-so live, even if I didn’t get to meet her. I was a little late in getting around to buying tickets, and … Continue reading Concert Review: Yuja Wang Piano Recital

NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Reflections on War

Back to symphony hall less than a week since Eroica for another fantastic performance, again conducted by Maestro Gunther Herbig. The title ‘Reflections on War’ (slightly different in Chinese: 烽火蕭八) was eye-catching. I read somewhere in a program or website for the concert that it was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II. Before reading up on Liszt’s Les Preludes, I wouldn’t have seen or heard or thought of any association with war, but it was an interesting contrast, in many ways. The program was also heavily weighted toward the second half, obviously. While Shostakovich’s eighth is a massive … Continue reading NSO: Symphonic Milestone- Reflections on War

Concert Review: NSO: Slavonic Series- A Hero and a Witch

with Steven Isserlis Spoiler: the highlight was that I got to meet Mr. Isserlis after the concert. He is a very nice human.  Sunday afternoon concerts always seem… less formal. There’s something about an evening event that makes it seem more… well, formal. In any case, I’d bought this ticket a month or more ago, prior to some recent schedule changes, and had to adjust my affairs to be able to attend, but boy was I glad I did. I’ve mentioned before that concerts are one of the few places that my constant internal “what do I need to be … Continue reading Concert Review: NSO: Slavonic Series- A Hero and a Witch

Concert Review: 4.27 男高音湯發凱獨唱會

Tenor vocal recital In case you didn’t know, Austrians are intense people… In my write-ups on concerts, I do my best to address the concert and not the pieces themselves, but that’s hard to do in some ways, especially when you’re not super familiar with said pieces. In any case, last year, I went to see Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder performed by our very fine National Symphony Orchestra. As you dedicated readers will know, it demands some serious forces, and one of those is a tenor. The tenor’s performance (both musically and… acting-ly? dramatically?) was excellent, and I actually ended up making … Continue reading Concert Review: 4.27 男高音湯發凱獨唱會

Concert Review: 簡韻玲鋼琴獨奏會

or my piano teacher’s graduation recital at 師大 I missed her other recital, and felt terrible about it, but was glad I was able to attend this one. If you go check out the About Me section, I talk in there about my final decision to go get piano lessons like I’d always wanted, so I did. I was cohost of a radio show for a local news channel at the time, and happened to mention to the host in passing that I’m looking for a piano teacher. Turns out his cousin and her whole family are music people. He … Continue reading Concert Review: 簡韻玲鋼琴獨奏會

Concert Review: Mahler 3

as performed by the Taipei Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eliahu Inbal on April 6, 2015. Again… There are some concerts that you’re so excited about you lose sleep over, concerts that make you feel like your ticket in is the golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s Whatever it Was (if you’re into that sort of thing), and when you file into the concert hall (of hopefully well-behaved, polite, respectful patrons), you feel a cozy sense of togetherness, of privilege, of camaraderie in the knowledge that you are preparing to experience something that only these few thousand (ish?) people on earth in … Continue reading Concert Review: Mahler 3

Concert Review: Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Taipei

Once in a while, there’s a thing that you look so forward to that you can’t even concentrate, the day seems to go by slowly, and you cannot wait for this thing you know will be so amazing to arrive. Perhaps it’s a dinner at a fancy restaurant, or a vacation, or some kind of meaningful thing; it’s different for everyone. But then when you get there and it starts happening, it’s more meaningful and powerful and enjoyable and moving than you had thought it could be. Even the highest of expectations were exceeded. Perhaps that sounds corny, but it’s … Continue reading Concert Review: Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Taipei

Concert Review: 葉孟儒 2015 Recital

I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as rare, per se, that one sees works of Alexander Scriabin on a recital program. I’d heard his piano works on at least two other occasions before this one, and was excited then, so when I saw the program for this recital months ago with three of Scriabin’s sonatas on the program, I immediately bought a ticket. Andrei Yeh is the same gentleman that so exquisitely played Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations back in December with the Taipei Philharmonic. I was blown away by that performance. It was one of those few times when something feels at … Continue reading Concert Review: 葉孟儒 2015 Recital

Concert Review: Taipei Philharmonic 30th Anniversary Concert

台北愛樂管弦樂團 This concert was the day after the previous concert review, the one with Mo. Antoni Wit, and if you look at the two programs, it could also tenuously be called “Paganini Variations Part 2.” I don’t seem to have recalled hearing the Taipei Philharmonic before. For clarification’s sake, the previous day’s ensemble is the Taiwan Philharmonic, but only in English. Their Chinese name (國家交響樂團) translates to English as the National Symphony Orchestra. You can see how that may be confusing, but in any case, they’re different. I expressed in that article my continued and growing adoration for the NSO, … Continue reading Concert Review: Taipei Philharmonic 30th Anniversary Concert

Concert Review: Nieuw Ensemble in Taipei

Sonic Portraits (aka This century part 2: The modern experience) In part two, we’ll be discussing the actual concert that kind of got me to thinking about all this to begin with. I was invited sort of last minute (actually about a week ahead of time) by a friend of my piano teacher’s (who is/will be my music theory/composition teacher) to attend this concert on a Saturday evening. I vaguely remember seeing it listed in December’s program, but it was a two-night thing, and I was unavailable the first night, so I didn’t give it a second look. The main reason, … Continue reading Concert Review: Nieuw Ensemble in Taipei

It’s a new year

… and new things are happening. One of them in just a few hours. My Thursday evening (I’m GMT+8, so 6:30 am for east coast USA or 11:30 am for the UK) will be spent at a concert, the details of which will be posted tomorrow, of a performance of a piece that holds the eighth place in our German(ic) series of symphonies, but this one is different.It’s taking place over two nights (the same concert twice) and I’m attending the second night, but this piece is being performed for the first time in this country. Ever. You could say … Continue reading It’s a new year

Concert Review: A Ninth to Remember

National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan A while back on this post, I discussed somewhat of an issue with being so excited to hear Mahler’s ninth live. I’ve mentioned it in way too many places to link to the posts, but I’ve become rather enamored with Mahler’s music in the past year or so, and it is now bordering on an obsession. It started with the fifth, the first of his works to appear here, and then the second, then the first, then the sixth. And I am realizing either because of context (understanding of a greater portion of the man’s … Continue reading Concert Review: A Ninth to Remember

Concert Review: 臺北世紀青年管弦樂團- An Evening of Mahler

  I went a few weeks ago to hear this ensemble (see my remarks below about the name) play in our National Concert Hall here in Taipei. This past year or so, I’ve been working through an obsession with the works of Mahler. I still haven’t cracked into Das Lied or some of the song cycles much, but have gotten my head around most of the symphonies. It’s mostly three and nine that are left to really be explored, as well as whatever exists of the tenth in its various forms. I spent most of the summer not going to … Continue reading Concert Review: 臺北世紀青年管弦樂團- An Evening of Mahler

Concert Review: Asian Youth Orchestra

Last month, I had the last minute opportunity to see the Asian Youth Orchestra live here in Taipei from just about the best seats in the concert hall (and for free, no less). I had originally planned on attending that evening’s performance, but of the four events I had decided to go to, it was the least enticing program (up against the likes of Mahler and Sibelius, two of my favorites), so it got the hack. Also, it was a Monday night, which tends to be somewhat more inconvenient. As it turns out, a coworker had two extra tickets (center … Continue reading Concert Review: Asian Youth Orchestra