Making an Effort

To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. – Igor Stravinsky

24th October, 2015 – Penderecki, James Cuddeford and HK Sinfonietta

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Conductor: Penderecki

Violin: James Cuddeford

Orchestra: Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Venue: Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall

Penderecki Violin Concerto No.2, ‘Metamorphosen’

Shostakovich Symphony No.15 in A, Op 141

I was motivated to go to this concert as it’s a great opportunity to see a renowned living composer conducting his own work and a Shostakovich symphony. I had been quite oblivious to the fact that Penderecki actually knew/met Shostakovich. When I told a friend recently that I would be attending this concert with Penderecki conducting, he asked how I knew of this conductor. To be honest I have no idea but could only reply that I read ‘stuff’ – including BBC Music magazine. I was also thinking of various websites including Classic FM and NPR (classical music), and maybe browsing in CD shops engraves these names in my brain.

The Violin concerto was performed by HK Sinfonietta’s own concertmaster, James Cuddeford. It is a challenging work with the player having few breaks, and when they did come, they were short. Cuddeford did an excellent job and it was fantastic to see HKSinfonietta having one of their own perform as soloist.

James Cuddeford talking about the Penderecki violin concerto:

The Shostakovich symphony was performed well with clear entrances. This performance surpassed my expectations.

Here is a performance of the concerto by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Bernard Haitink conducting.

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