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Concert Reviews - 2 December 2017 - Hoang's Piano Concerto Concert

Peter Hagan - Classikon

“Fine sound produced throughout the entire orchestra...”

“...programme designed to please...”

“...the orchestra’s great dynamic range was most carefully controlled and pleasingly varied...”

Read the full review in Classikon.

Sylvester Kroyherr - Published in Bohemian Rhapsody Club online Newsletter


Given at: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre on 2/12/2017.
Conductor: Mark Shiell
Soloist: Hoang Pham (Piano)
Concertmaster: Susan Pierotti.

The well packed auditorium was buzzing with expectant excitement as the orchestra breezed in gently with Brahms’ playful Overture and building an impressive crescendo sustained in a stately manner by the strings. Although only lasting about ten minutes, the intensity, excitement and emotional feel was well delivered by the orchestra with a crisp finale that pleased the audience – priming them for the next major piece, being the Rachmaninov - shrouding Paganini’s 24th Caprice for Solo Violin into 24 Variations!

Being warmly welcomed by the crowd, Hoang Pham settled in immediately, establishing a strong rapport with the orchestra along with sheer brilliance and perfect timing. Notable playing came from the oboe followed by some intense interplay between the piano and the orchestra. The slow movement that followed displayed delicate but very nimble playing from Hoang with masterly interpretation. Credit is also due to some sensitive playing by the French horn and the clarinet. With a surge, a further variation evolved showing off the ad-lib brilliance of the soloist. The next segment was slow and pensive displaying some fine playing by the Concertmaster effectively nurtured by the orchestra. Following a beautiful and gentle conclusion to the movement, Hoang dazzled the audience with not just superlative technique but great dexterity and flair along with the spotless direction from the Conductor, directing a well fused orchestra.

After the interval we were ready for the Brahms! The first movement sprang into a dramatic and thunderous opening further highlighted by Hoang’s sheer brilliance and complimented later, by the smooth flute and woodwind section. Hoang’s shorter haircut did not detract from his artistry and faultless performance integrating his virtuosity with the orchestra. The second (Adagio) movement followed. Sensitively eyeing and following the soloist, Mark appeared intensely involved and loving the experience. Furthermore, this romantic movement was well structured with a good deal of light and shade – played with cool composure by Hoang. Lastly, the third (Rondo) movement kicked in with an energetic gush of musical dexterity combined with spectacular technique, including a spotless cadenza. The exemplary performance by the soloist was greeted with a thunderous response from the excited audience, having played all the pieces by heart – and with a lot of heart!

What a musical experience – noting that this was the last appearance of Mark Shiell with the orchestra. Best wishes for a bright future in your new endeavours. Congratulations also to Hoang Pham for an unforgettable performance and wish him a prodigious and successful future.

Further congratulations to the Zelman Orchestra and everyone who took part, including all who supported the event.

SYLVESTER KROYHERR (Singer/Musician/Architect)

6 December 2017.

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