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: 陳柔安鋼琴獨奏會

If you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year. Lots of graduation recitals and concerts and things. It’s a great time of year to be a concertgoer, and I’m sure many students heave huge sighs of relief once their performances are over. It is also often hardly the end, but a beginning of more, better things. I’ve talked before about my thoughts about concerts and recitals and performances in an academic setting. There are two main ones, the first being that the people in the room (at the university where these recitals are [most often] held) are the real professionals … Continue reading Concert Review: 陳柔安鋼琴獨奏會

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: Treasures from Eastern Europe

 or 斯拉夫系列:東歐瑰寶   I have pretty much fallen in love with our biggest symphony orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra (translated from the Chinese: 國家交響樂團, but more often referred to in English as the Taiwan Philharmonic). I’d heard them in the past, but the real moment was hearing them perform Mahler’s ninth back in September. It was… almost spiritual. Just wonderful, and so I’ve been eager to attend as many of their performances as possible. This performance was the orchestra I’d come to love with a special guest conductor. Just as 呂紹嘉 seemed perfectly at home conducting Mahler and Schoenberg after … Continue reading Concert Review: Treasures from Eastern Europe

Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 in Eb

performed by The London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado Martha Argerich, piano (from the Great Pianists of the 20th Century collection by Philips) I couldn’t find the above recording on YouTube, but this is Ms. Argerich with the Berlin Radio Symphony (this version is almost as good as the one I have become accustomed to listening to) “Das versteht ihr alle nicht, haha!” (None of you understand this, haha!)  Or at least how some say begins the opening of the first movement of this concerto. (It fits rhythmically). Regardless, this twenty-minute piece in four movements is one hell of a ride.  … Continue reading Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 in Eb