Saturday, February 3, 2018


Happily attended my first Singapore Symphony Orchestra concert of 2018 this evening. Enjoyed the whole evening, with the first half of the concert being a particular joy. For openers was a piece by a Thai composer I'd never heard of, Narong Pragcharoen, and it was a blast (almost literally so.) Entitled Phenomenon it evoked, in part, a Buddhist ceremony that takes place annually on the Mekong involving Naga Fireballs. If the sheer gloriously manic energy of the music is anything to go by, the ceremony must be utterly captivating.

Following that came Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No 2. Fortunately I managed to attend the pre-concert talk in the Library at Esplanade just before the concert so was well primed for a bit of the Master at his most glum and sardonic (and wonderfully theatrical.) The soloist was Jan Vogler and he didn't disappoint.

Actually I attended the concert essentially for those two pieces, being no great fan of Dvorak whose Symphony No 6 comprised the second half of the evening. I can't say I really got into the symphony but there was much pleasure to be had from simply enjoying the beautiful textures of sound. So, all in all a very jolly evening and a reminder that, when it comes to music, live is best. (That's probably true of most things, I suppose, apart from a good meal.)

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