A Night of Music: PPO’s 31st Classic Blend with Apo Hsu, Hsieh, and Prokofiev

It was Friday night, and my mother, brother and I headed to CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) to have a lovely time experiencing something new: an orchestra performance!

It’s the 7th concert of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s (PPO) 31st Classic Blend. This time, Apo Ching-Hsin Hsu conducted! And she was wonderful!

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We sat at the third row of the orchestra seats, we were near the side of the violins and the contrabass. When the show started, the musicians appeared on the stage one by one, testing their instruments. Afterwards, the head violinist appeared and the audience gave him much respect by applauding in his entrance. The same went for the night’s conductor Apo Hsu.

After playing the Philippine national anthem, PPO performed Yarnell’s Yosemite and the Range of Light during the first part of the show, followed by Bohusav Martinu’s Oboe concerto with the lovely oboist Wa-Chen Hsieh. She was amazing playing those different tunes by Martinu in one breathing and without faltering.

Hearing her play, I was reminded of this fictional character named Kuroki in a TV show I love deeply called Nodame Cantabile. Kuroki is an oboist who played Mozart’s K314 in the show.  My anticipation to that night’s oboe concerto was heavily influenced by what I witnessed from that TV show (TV show references might make things shallow for some people but definitely it’s not the case for me).

We all applauded for Hsieh’s wonderful performance. I would love to hear her play K314 it would be chocolates and strawberries for me 🙂

After the oboe concerto, there was a 15 minute Intermission break which my mother made a joke about. (She said maybe the 15 minute break is for sleeping) Haha! I couldn’t blame her though, this stuff is not her thing, but I love her for many things and and some of those things include being my company for that night and for the tickets. 🙂

PPO then performed the Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 Op. 100 which was very nice. It was my first time hearing a live orchestra play in a theater and almost the whole time I was there, I was marveling at the fact that I was actually there, experiencing something that I only watch or hear in TV and movies (and sometimes in the music playlist on my phone).

Hopefully next time, I would get to watch and hear Oliver Ochanine conduct. And guess what? He’ll be conducting the 8th Concert of the season!!! And guess what’s more interesting? On that concert, PPO will play various classical works made popular in film scores!!! I’m currently thinking of Lux Aeterna and ugh it must be goosebumps-inducing when heard live! I wonder if they’ll play Mansell’s though. Or I wonder if they’ll play that at all.

Well, anyway, after the performance, I treated Mama and bro Japanese food for dinner somewhere nearby. That night was indeed lovely for me and I would like to experience it again, hopefully  for the 8th Concert! 🙂

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