24 October, 2015

Concert Review: HK Sinfonietta - Penderecki

Oct 24, 2015, CH
HK Sinfonietta - Penderecki
Penderecki - Shostakovich

Penderecki is for some reason well connected with HK (and elsewhere in Asia) and makes not infrequent appearances, usually well received.

The composer's Violin Concerto No. 2 is a rarity even on records. Mutter, who first played and recorded it, commented on its elegiac tone and "a sense of burial", which I found elusive in this performance, well played by concertmaster James Cuddeford, an excellent violinist.

Penderecki is a very good conductor too. I remember a perfectly paced performance of Prokofiev's Classical Symphony many years ago. This time, he delivered a lucid account of  Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15. Although short on mystery and drama, the piece was tightly argued and well played, though more characterful playing from the soloists would have contributed more (like the magnificent performance of Shenzhen Symphony under 張國勇I heard five years ago).