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Singapore Symphony Orchestra 2016/17 Season Theatrical Review
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is widely regarded as one of the best orchestras in the world. With a history spanning over four decades, the SSO has consistently delivered world-class performances under the baton of numerous distinguished conductors. The 2016/17 season was no exception, with a lineup of masterful works from some of the biggest names in classical music.
The season kicked off with Beethoven's iconic Symphony No. 9, conducted by Lan Shui. This monumental work is regarded as one of the greatest achievements in Western music and the SSO did not disappoint in its execution. The orchestra played with unwavering precision and clarity, bringing Beethoven's vision to life.
Next on the program was Mahler's Symphony No. 7, conducted by Hans Graf. Mahler's Seventh is known as the "song of the night" and was hailed as a masterpiece by many of his contemporaries. The SSO did an exceptional job of capturing the eerie, otherworldly atmosphere of this piece, bringing to life the mystical underpinnings of the music.
The third program of the season was led by Joshua Tan, who conducted a selection of works by Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. The highlight of the evening was Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring soloist Nikolai Lugansky. Lugansky brought a level of depth and emotion to the piece that was unparalleled, his technical virtuosity particularly shining in the work's numerous arpeggios.
Following this was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, conducted by Osmo Vänskä. The fifth symphony is one of Tchaikovsky's most popular works, featuring a sweeping theme that is easily recognizable. The SSO brought a level of warmth and depth to Tchaikovsky's score, imbuing it with feeling and nuance.
The penultimate program of the season featured a selection of works by Debussy, Ravel, and Enescu. Conductor Kahchun Wong led the orchestra in Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso, and Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. This program was notable for its lush, impressionistic textures and vivid orchestral colors.
The final program of the season was conducted by the legendary Vladimir Ashkenazy, who led the orchestra in a performance of two of Shostakovich's most celebrated works: his Fifth Symphony and his Cello Concerto No. 1. Soloist Steven Isserlis was particularly notable in the cello concerto, bringing a level of intensity and depth to the work that was truly breathtaking.
In conclusion, the 2016/17 season of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra was a triumph of musical excellence, featuring some of the most iconic works of classical music performed by a world-class orchestra. The SSO has once again cemented its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in the world and we eagerly anticipate what their next season has in store.