13 December, 2013

Concert Review: HKPO - Jaap - Ning Feng

Dec 13, 2013, CCCH
HKPO - Jaap Van Zweden - Ning Feng
Beethoven - Shostakovich

Apparently,the same program was just played in Taipei and the HKPO was in excellent form.

In the Beethoven Violin Concerto it goes without saying Ning Feng's playing was effortless, perhaps a little too much so that serenity and beauty obscured inner depth. With Jaap's typical strong accents, the accompaniment was dramatic but similarly did not probe deep.

Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, played so often (and usually well) by the HKPO, received a highly detailed and dramatic reading. Also typical of Jaap, the sound was finely balanced and one reveled in the felicity of details. Everything, from the snappiness of brass snarls to finely graded string swells, was finely honed. Here too, the studied aspect of the performance and emphasis on precision somewhat limited emotional expression. Although the performance did not scale the heights of Jaap's previous "Leningrad", it was wonderful on its own terms.

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