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14. Sheer Charm and Beauty

It cannot be wrong to say that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is sheer charm and beauty. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G Major, BWV1048 and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in E Flat Major, K364 were the major works of the programme in last Friday's concert of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.

While only a small group of members of the orchestra needed to appear in Bach's Concerto, each player acted as a soloist in one way or the other in different part of the music, producing music chasing each other rapidly in gaiety, just like dancing together and moving round and round over the ensemble. The short concerto ended with enthusiastic applause from the audience.

I have got well acquainted with Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante by listening to the music at home for many times and each time's listening unfailingly gives me new sensations and feelings. In this double concerto for violin, viola and orchestra in this night's concert, the violin soloist was John Harding, the concertmaster of the orchestra, who also directed the music, and the viola soloist was Robin Hong, the principal viola of the orchestra. The utter competence of the soloists and the skilful mastery of the orchestra members made a truly successful and outstanding performance.

In the second part of the concert, "Cantilena pacifica" ("Peaceful Song"), a work of the modern Australian composer Richard Meale and the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok's Divertimento for Strings were played. Although these two pieces of music are quite new to me, there were unmistakable lyrical passages which were very charming indeed.

To me this was really a very satisfactory concert.

(Written on April 16, 2009)