BORODIN, GLAZUNOV, CAPUÇON, BEETHOVEN
These names attracted people to Hong Kong's equivalent of the Hungarian Palace of Arts until it seemed that the hall seating up to two thousand people could not hold any more.
One reason for the audience’s strict discipline was also revealed: hostesses and hosts sitting by the door jumped up as soon as any kind of misdemeanour was identified, whether it was using telephones or a slight noise from bags.
This audience was different than yesterday.
There were more elegant people and dark suits, yet there was no applause between the movements.
Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances exhilarated the impassive bulk of people, while Glazunov’s violin concerto rendered by Renaud Capuçon surprised them: wow, could it also be like that?
The piece is shorter than the average three-movement concertos, it only consists of one, or rather, two linked movements, but each performer must be very good at their part. It was the first time I had seen Capuçon performing live, I was a little bit disappointed that he read the sheets, sometimes even inaccurately, but another two performances are left, so he may get there in the end.
The French violinist showed his mettle during the encore.
The sound of his Stradivari was wonderful – how else could a Stradivari sound? – and the accurate but slightly sentimental opening of the music – the Gluck Melodie played in his usual manner – even made the lady sitting next to me cry.
I have never heard Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 performed like this.
Iván Fischer is capable of showing something new again and again, and this is only one thing that makes him great, since after Toscanini, Furtwängler, Karajan, Bernstein, Solti, Abbado and, let’s say, Gardiner there is not much more to say about this composition – as the average music consumer would think – until fans of the Festival Orchestra dig into their pockets and travel to the other side of the world to listen to something extraordinary.
New emphases, rare pianissimos, exciting tempos, unknown paths, more catharsis.
Things – still – worth living for.
The audience broke into a wild applause, so much so that the French guest violinist, who received a polite applause in the first part, even sneaked out from the concert hall, perhaps because he envied the BFO’s success.
After that, Iván Fischer addressed the audience in Chinese, causing tumult and a huge ovation for everything that followed, especially Bartók’s Romanian Dance.
Once again, it was a pleasure to be a Hungarian expat…