WAIS pupils went to Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre Concert Hall, to watch the sensational Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by world-renowned conductor Riccardo Muti.
After arriving in Shanghai and grabbing a delicious meal, the pupils walked the short distance to the SHOAC Concert Hall. The magnificent splendour of the building is enough to take the breath away of the most cynical sceptic, and the effect on the pupils was rather profound. This was little, however, compared to the impact the music had on the pupils - the programme was an intense, but beautiful, double-bill of Brahms, playing both his first and second symphonies, in C minor and D major, respectively. Brahms’ strong, girthy string writing is as captivating as it is resemblant of Beethoven’s work, whom, despite dying almost a decade before Brahms’ birth, had a clear impression on Brahms’ musical style. Whilst Brahms lived in the latter half of the Romantic era, his conservative orchestral scoring reminds one of a much early Classical period - he was very much a traditionalist. After these masterpieces had moved the pupils considerably, they were gifted a rare treat- the tumultuous applause the audience gave the orchestra bought them quite the treat- a spectacular encore! To the audience’s delight, all were treated to a frenzied rendition of Brahms’ famous Hungarian Dance No. 1.