Monday, 15 April 2013

CHRISTOPHER HOGWOOD in Singapore: Then and Now

The famous British conductor Christopher Hogwood was in town last week to conduct the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in a subscription concert on 13 April 2013.The programme was a short but interesting one that illustrated the Turkish influence on composers like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The works included Mozart's Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio and Violin Concerto No.5 (with Jennifer Pike as soloist), Beethoven's Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens and Haydn's Symphony No.100, known as the "Military" because of its martial strains and call to arms.  

Hogwood gave a very lucid and interesting talk to introduce the pieces, and what the Turkish influence meant to the Viennese, including the coffee part! There was a strange effect of deja vu given the performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (by the NAFA Orchestra under Lim Yau) with its Turkish flavoured episode the night before. The performances were revelatory in a way because we seldom get to hear the SSO play early music, and with such great fervour too. 

This is Hogwood's third visit to Singapore for a concert. He led the Academy of Ancient Music in a concert during the 1970s, and was the harpsichordist for the Academy of St.Martin in the Fields when it visited Singapore (also in the 1970s). It is hoped that he will be a regular here in the years to come.

Hogwood posing with my 30-year-old LP of highlights from the Academy of Ancient Music which he founded in 1973. Has it really been  that many years?
Hogwood with a young music lover, one of his biggest fans.

The big Esplanade poster in the foyer.

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