Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

No joke, that’s the full name of the orchestra I went to see this Monday; the only real professional orchestra that I know of in Saigon.

They played a really cool repertoire; consisting of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Violin Concerto in D Major; Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on the theme of Paganini; and Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moscow River. I’m not going to lie, I went there specifically to see the performance of the 1812 Overture and the Rhapsody on the theme of Paganini. The other two pieces were ones that I didn’t know quite so well.

I was very confused at their choice of the order of the pieces. They opened with Tchaikovsky’s 1812, and ended the first half with the Rachmaninov. The second half opened with Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moscow River. The concert ended with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. I really don’t understand this. In their Spring Summer programme leaflet, they stated the order to start with the Mussorgsky, followed by the Violin Concerto. The second half opened with Rachmaninov, and then the whole concert was to close with the 1812. To me, this would have made much more sense. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is a fantastic, dramatic, powerful piece: perfectly suited to the grand finale. Why they chose to open with this is simply beyond me. Continue reading