Making an Effort

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

6th November, 2015 – Mozart and Strauss – Canellakis and Hadelich, HKPhil

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Conductor: Karina Canellakis

Violin: Augustin Hadelich

Orchestra: Hong Kong Philharmonic

Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Mozart –  Abduction from the Seraglio Overture

Mozart –  Violin Concerto no. 5, Turkish

R. Strauss  – Die Frau ohne Schatten: Symphonic Fantasy

R. Strauss –  Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils

Since Marin Alsop made her speech as the first female conductor at the Last Night of the Proms, it seems that female conductors have stepped into the limelight a little more. Hopefully orchestras have become more intentional about including female conductors in their programmes. It is fantastic to see some female conductors in the HKPhil 15/16 season. This was the debut concert for Karina Canellakis. It is unsurprising that she has come over to Hong Kong to perform considering that Jaap Van Zweden is one of her mentors and they work with Dallas Symphony Orchestra. I definitely enjoyed watching her conduct showing appropriate movements for each phrase.

The first half of the concert had a Turkish theme – ‘Abduction from the Seraglio Overture’. This had lively beginning and endings featuring cymbals and piccolo, with a more sombre section in the middle. The second piece was Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 5 ‘Turkish’ played brilliantly by Augustin Hadelich.

Here’s a video of Augustin Hadelich:

The concert ended with two very entertaining pieces by R.Strauss. First was the symphonic poem translated as ‘The woman with no shadow’. The last piece of the evening was ‘Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils’ being based on the biblical story of Herod’s daughter. Herod offers Salome anything if she dances for him. She goes to her mother, Herodias, to ask what she should ask for and requests John the Baptist’s head on a tray. (John was not popular in the Herod household as he had told Herod that he should not have married his brother’s wife!)

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