Opera: L’heure Espagnole

Is it still called a concert if it’s an opera? I have a confession: this is the first opera I’ve ever attended, and one of only a few I’ve ever listened to from beginning to end. To my recollection, aside from L’heure Espagnole yesterday evening, the only operas I’ve ever listened to in their entirety are Wagner’s Das Rheingold (a few times) and Verdi’s La Traviata. That’s it, as far as I know. Anything else would be more like secondhand smoke than real listening. All of that being said, I have more than a few opera friends. While the real … Continue reading Opera: L’heure Espagnole

Concert Review: Taipei Symphony- Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff

Concerts have become a bit slow-going in the summer. I’m pretty okay with that, though. There are some big ones coming up soon that I need to save up for. But perhaps aside from one or two graduation recitals (which I think were actually in May, so no), this was the first concert of the month of June, and one of perhaps only two. Let’s talk about it. Mr. Gilbert Varga is back in town with our Taipei Symphony Orchestra. Last time I heard them play was under The Great Maestro Eliahu Inbal. What a pleasure, a privilege to see/hear … Continue reading Concert Review: Taipei Symphony- Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff

Interview: 男高音- 湯發凱

You may have noticed our interview series has dropped off the face of the earth. It happened kind of accidentally. But I got excited about the prospect of a new (small) series of interviews that would be unique for a few reasons. They will be the first interviews of/with people whom I know personally, and They will be the first articles of any kind on the blog in Chinese. I live in Asia, and don’t get much readership in my part of the world. Chinese articles will be cool. So, that’s about all you’ll get in English. It’s been a … Continue reading Interview: 男高音- 湯發凱

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

陳譽陞 作品發表音樂會

I just had one of the most inspiring, motivating afternoons in recent memory. I don’t even know how to talk about it. This time of year is one of graduations and recitals and concerts, academically and otherwise. The National Concert Hall will be getting some renovation done over the summer, so it will be closed for the next three or four months, and it seems that some of the ensembles or performers are getting in under the wire. In any case, May has been a busy month for concertgoing. I’ve attended a number of concerts at the same university, in … Continue reading 陳譽陞 作品發表音樂會

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

I’m speechless. I don’t know how I’d managed to get through as much classical music listening, reading, YouTube viewing, and concert going and not have heard of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. What initially struck my interest and sold me on the concert was one of the names below: It wasn’t Beethoven (x2), or Debussy or Ravel, but Boulez. In case you don’t know (and unless you know me personally, you probably don’t), I’ve been fascinated, obsessed, overwhelmed by the music of Milton Babbitt lately, and by extension, the concepts and ideas behind the serialist movement in general, and Boulez is a very … Continue reading Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

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: Taipei Symphony and Karen Gomyo

Bear with me here. This concert (or the general experience of the evening) was far more outstandingly outstanding than I’d prepared for.  There are some concerts you look forward to and know will be once-in-a-lifetime chances, like being able to hear Gurre Lieder live last year (quite a production), or The Philharmonia last month, and some you go to just because it’s a nice chance to hear a piece live again, with no real concern for the performer or real anticipation for the program…? Think of it this way.  There are different kinds of dinner plans: I may make plans far … Continue reading Concert Review: Taipei Symphony and Karen Gomyo