This Thursday night, I was able to take a break from the metropolis and its own soundscape of cackling cars, beeping horns, building sites and markets galore by having the privilege of listening to something more pleasant on the ears. This is the first concert that I have reviewed and I hope it will not be my last.
I expected to miss the live action that I normally experience from theatrical productions, but attending an orchestra performance proved me wrong. There were moments when I was on the edge of my seat, others when I may have shed a tear and instants when my hands hurt from applauding. I was mesmerized by every piece and for the first time in Shanghai, where energy and activity never cease, time slowed down for a while.
I only had to close my eyes and I was whisked away from the mania that is Shanghai and taken back to the land of Shakespeare. Following the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Hallé Orchestra presents compositions in celebration of his masterpieces. The performance is conducted by Sir Mark Elder CBE (honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Olivier Award holder and winner of the Gramophone award for 3 consecutive years), with performances from world-renowned cellist Mr. Wang Jian. The programme includes pieces by Otto Nicolai, Overture for The Merry Wives of Windsor, a Cello Concerto in E-minor by Edward William Elgar and finally Symphony No.7 in D-minor by Antonín Dvorák.
Music from Germany, England and Czech Republic is brought together in one of the fastest and most dynamic globalizing cities in the world. Justice is done and Shakespeare is once again commemorated as a global phenomenon. Watching the Hallé Orchestra, one of the top symphonic ensembles in the UK, taught me that one does not need to be educated about classical music in order to appreciate it. I’ve already added pieces to my playlist.