[Media Invite] Metropolitan Festival Orchestra’s Bridging Frontiers Concert

Title: Bridging Frontiers Concert
Loved it
Graded
Orchestra: Metropolitan Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Chan Tze Law
Erhu Soloists: Ling Hock Siang and Wilson Neo
Horn Soloist: Han Chang Chou
Location: Esplanade Concert Hall

1606965_783562501688642_1826498403564495888_nThis highly-anticipated production allows audiences to relive the awesome experience of the full-length Academy Award-winning motion picture projected on a giant screen and complete with Howard Shore’s iconic soundtrack performed live by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and the Vocal Associates Festival Chorus and Children’s Choir.

Remember the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers concert where I was suitably impressed with the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra’s performance?

The good folks in charge invited me to their Bridging Frontiers concert last Saturday. Held at the ultra glam Esplanade Concert Hall, it was a glam-casual affair, with attendees dressed equally in formal wear and in jeans and shirts.

The acoustics of the venue had been lauded for years, and it deserves every single praise given.

Onto the concert.

The inaugural Bridging Frontiers concert aimed to bring together lovers of both Chinese and Western classical music. My experience with classical music has been relegated mostly to study sessions of Mozart, Bach and their like, thus it was refreshing to listen to different composers and their creations.

The evening started with a lovely, somewhat ominous rendition of Antonín Dvořák’s Carnival Overture, Op.92. What caught my attention was the Western orchestra version of Liu Xi Jin’s Double Erhu Concerto “Hymn of Wusuli”, specially commissioned by the MFO from composer Eric Watson.

 

Photo credit: Chrisppics+ and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra

Photo credit: Chrisppics+ and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra

 

It was the highlight of the night, and the only piece to feature both Chinese and Western classical music in a piece. Featuring a couple of erhu soloists, the world premiere was a hit with the audience. The MFO complemented the erhu beautifully, echoing and leading each section in what I can only call a musical tango. Melodious, at times uplifting and heart-tugging.

I can’t stop raving about this piece, and only wish that it had been recorded so I could have another listen at home. It evoked so much emotion, and the full orchestra couldn’t have done better.

Photo credit: Chrisppics+ and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra

Photo credit: Chrisppics+ and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra

 

The second half didn’t fare too badly, though it felt overshadowed by the first half. It would have worked much better had the hybrid piece been the finale, for it encaptured the night’s theme.

Looking forward to next year’s concert! Hopefully by then I’d have learnt more musical lingo so I can give a more in-depth review, because this review? Doesn’t do justice to the actual concert.

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