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Spring comes early to City

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Tuesday saw a packed Great Hall witness some extraordinarily spectacular music played by CLS boys and CLSG girls.

We sent Yipeng from OG to take in the music and report on the night:

"The extended stage first housed the Combined Orchestra, as they played the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with Victor as the soloist, producing brilliant and vibrant sounds in this emotional and sometimes startling and surprising concerto. From the subtly expressed chords at the start to the somehow flowing and gentle world of the second movement to the crashing ending, what was 40 minutes of music felt like nothing as the audience were transported on a journey through many worlds, matching Rachmaninoff’s problems at the time with criticism of his works and under-confidence. Nevertheless, this piano concerto had many virtuosic passages and beautiful, more sentimental ones that often came on rather suddenly, and these were conveyed convincingly by both the piano and the various parts of the orchestra that came to play snippets of tune.

The free-flowing scales, the thunderous lines and climaxes of the first movement, executed with the scale and the volume of the full orchestra, both engaged and overwhelmed me. The second movement, in contrast, was a much more sensitive and quiet one. The orchestra and piano brought through the sentimental side of the composer’s thoughts, and the slow, serene chords brought about the hidden beauty in the music, leading me to a tranquil world floating on only a few shimmering notes. The third movement was fast and slightly jokey, and the way that the opening march was played by the orchestra fitted this, startling me a little!

The ensuing theme came across as through as expressive and thoughtful, almost leaving unlimited space for meditation. As the music drew to a close, the build-up of the crescendo and the climactic high note at the end left nothing but satisfaction and a feeling of grandeur, and the long-lasting thundering applause our pianist Victor, together with the combined orchestra of CLS and CLSG received was the best anecdote for an utterly amazing musical treat.

In the next half, the audience had the pleasure of hearing W.A. Mozart’s last and one of his most famous works- the Requiem for choir and organ. The Combined Choir of CLS and CLSG took to the stage to perform this masterpiece, even though unfinished as he died and only completed by one of his pupils. This hour-long choral work started with the choirs singing in full swing, giving an inter-weaving harmony and touch to all parts of the piece. Afterwards, we were treated a few solos in four parts, performed by exterior guest singers. The blend of the balanced soloists as well as the choirs added to the underlying harmony, producing a multi-layered structure and an overwhelming cascade of sounds, making this Requiem rendition such an unforgettable experience. On the accompaniment part, the organ played throughout, lending its haunting and penetrating tones to the human voices for even more layers of sounds.

I thought this was a truly remarkable evening of music-making and I felt proud to be part of a school with so much musical talent and dedication. The whole performance was totally brilliant, sometimes awe-inspiring, and thoroughly enjoyable. The quality of music played was way beyond what a school performance usually contains."

Congratulations to everyone involved and many thanks to Yipeng for a lovely write up.


The applause the combined orchestra of CLS and CLSG received was the best anecdote for an utterly amazing musical treat.
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