Romantic Fantasies

Last Saturday July 2 to the SOH to hear the SSO in the concert titled as per above.

The bill of fare was:

  • SHOSTAKOVICH Festive Overture
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
  • BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique


  • Shiyeon Sung conductor
  • Vadim Gluzman violin

Nothing even remotely romantic about the Shostakovich, dashed off in a mere few weeks by DEsCH and given a bracing performance under Shiyeon Sung’s direction.

Guzman made a big sound, especially on the G string, in the Tchaik, playing the very instrument on which it was [hoped to be: see comment by Yvonne below] premiered.  I enjoyed it.  I think it is the first big violin concerto I heard, played by (then) Jimmy (now) Cho-Liang Ling during his youthful sojourn in Sydney.  I felt sometimes Guzman wanted to move a bit faster forward than Sung but maybe that is ever the way.  There is also a bit (an orchestral tutti) in the middle of the first movement which felt distinctly humdrum – we had to fill in a bit of time going through the circle  of fifths or something like that a few times before things got exciting again, which they did.

I enjoyed the Berlioz more than I have in the last few times I was exposed to it.  I hope Ms Sung comes to Sydney again.  There were, however, no ophicleides. Things sounded distinctly muscular in the brass section at almost all times. The slow movement was, as ever, a bit of a test of the audience’s concentration.

In the cello section, young Hyung-Suk Bae has been trying out this month and last month for an associate cello position.  In this concert, he played up the front with the beauteous one whilst the (not necessarily unattractive) Umberto Clerici hung free at the back desk.

There was an acknowledgement of country at the beginning of the concert.  Will this be a regular thing or was it just for NAIDOC week?

2 Responses to “Romantic Fantasies”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Strictly speaking, we heard the instrument on which Tchaikovsky had hoped it would be premiered. Auer refused at first to play it, with Brodsky eventually giving the premiere, so the Auer Strad is a tantalising “almost”.

    • marcellous Says:

      Thanks, Yvonne. I’m afraid you can now see I don’t always read the program notes very carefully – especially if I’m going to see a well-known work.

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