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Beethoven's Septet and Eroica by Edo de Waart - Shatin Concert Showcases Beethoven? Genius

2005-01-20

Hong Kong, 19 Jan 2005 – Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) presents a concert of all-Beethoven programme, conducted by Edo de Waart. The concert presents two very different works of Beethoven, whose importance spanned across the classical and romantic period. From the classical period is his Septet, while the Eroica Symphony is one of the landmarks from the romantic period. One performance will take place on 28 January 2005 (Fri) at 8pm in the Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium.

The Eroica is one of musical history’s turning points, in which the symphony became an epic, conceived on the grandest of scale. The title-page bore an inscription “Symphonia eroica, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” With internationally-renowned Edo de Waart taking the podium, this performance promises to be first-class. De Waart conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic earlier this year to perform another best-beloved Beethoven’s symphony, Fate. It was one of the first collaborations between de Waart and his orchestra, and received critical acclaims.

“De Waart adopted a fast tempo, eschewing histrionics, and unravelled the music in one long breath from the first appearance of the “Fate” motif right up to the triumphant finale. Sharp articulation, limpid texture and flexible dynamic changes all helped to make the fiercely interlocking musical arguments flash through in sharp relief, “ South China Morning Post commented.

The massive symphony was composed only four years after the composition of his Septet, whose light and breezy classicism contrasts greatly with Eroica. Composed in the last year of the 18th Century, the Septet calls for an unusual combination of instruments. Performing as the soloists are HKPO principles of their sections including Dennis Kim (violin), Huang Hung-wei (viola), Richard Bamping (cello), Eddie Zong (double bass), Andrew Simon (clarinet), Kam Shui (bassoon), and Mark Vines (horn).

This concert is the second of HKPO’s Town Hall Classics series, which was specially designed for the Sha Tin Town Hall and showcases three great composers – Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn throughout the 2004/05 season. The first concert, Tchaikovsky, was performed last October to warm, delighted reception among music lovers in Hong Kong. Mendelssohn, last of the three-concert series, will be held on 1 April, featuring Symphony No.3, Scottish under Edo de Waart and Mendelssohn’s Octet.

Tickets for Beethoven are now available at URBTIX at HK$220, $160, and $100, through reservation at 2734 9009 (URBTIX) or Credit Card Booking at 2111 5999 (Cityline). For enquiries, please visit www.hkpo.com or call 2721 2030.

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About Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

For over a century, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has been at the heart of the musical and artistic life of Hong Kong, attracting the world’s finest artists to perform in its diverse and vibrant annual concert season. With its first performance in 1895, the Orchestra turned professional in 1974, and now gives over 100 concerts a year.

From the 2004/05 season, the Hong Kong Philharmonic enters an exciting new chapter in its history. With the appointment of celebrated Dutch conductor Edo de Waart as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, the Orchestra renews its commitment to artistic excellence, extending its education and outreach programmes to embrace the entire community. The annual education programme, Hang Seng Bank Blossom with Music, will bring classical music to over 60,000 local students across Hong Kong this academic year.