NCPA’s Symphony Orchestra of India comes to Bengaluru with symphonies by Mozart, Beethoven and Bizet
Conducted by Mikel Toms who is currently the Resident Conductor of SOI, the performances include symphonies by Mozart, Beethoven and Bizet
Music aficionados in the city will be treated to a an evening of western classical music. NCPA Mumbai’s Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) take the stage at Ranga Shankara this weekend to present symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven and Bizet. Conducted by Mikel Toms who is currently the Resident Conductor of SOI, the performances include the overture to Mozart’s comic opera The Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Bizet’s Carmen Suite. These three pieces are among the most popular symphonies and seasoned performers of SOI will be presenting these compositions.
The Marriage of Figaro, a commedia per musica (or comedy through music) is considered one of the greatest operas ever written and Mikel says this symphony sets the tone for the evening. “I love this piece! It’s the overture that opens Mozart’s great opera, The Marriage of Figaro, and sets the stage for everything that is about to unfold. It’s a riot of colour and energy and I don’t think anyone can listen to it without a broad smile on their face. It’s tricky to perform as it is very fast and has some difficult corners from a technical point of view, but it’s also hugely exciting to play,” he says. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony which is known to exemplify the characteristic symphony genre of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, is related to experiencing nature. But how will SOI’s presentation interpret it? That is something that the audience will have to wait and watch out for. However, the conductor sheds some light and says, “Our job is to convey Beethoven’s vision as fully and directly as possible. Beethoven said he wasn’t trying to depict specific images about the countryside in this symphony — he was trying to portray the feeling of being in nature so the aim is always to put across the emotional state of being immersed in the natural world. If we can do that, we have done our job!”
Bizet’s Carmen Suite, which is drawn from the master’s music for the 1875 opera Carmen, is quite dynamic with its distinct sounds and notes. Mikel agrees and says, “It’s a really colourful score. Every instrument in the orchestra is thoroughly tested. At the same time, it’s great fun and full of character and with some wonderful tunes! I think everyone forgets about the challenging aspect and just enjoys playing it and I hope the audience will enjoy listening to it too.” SOI is known the world over for its smooth and spectacular coordination, syncing and sounds. The Pastoral Symphony was the most challenging one but Mikel says, they truly enjoyed rehearsing and getting better at it. “This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that I have been able to get to India and to work with the orchestra, so it’s been wonderful to refamiliarise ourselves with each other and to pick up where we left off two and a half years ago. The Pastoral Symphony is really a substantial piece of music and it has a level of complexity that the other works don’t. It’s always satisfying to sink your teeth into something challenging, though. I think we have spent the rehearsal period just enjoying being able to make music again,” he signs off.
Rs 500. June 17 and 18, 7.30 pm. At Ranga Shankara