October 5, 2013 Performance
Not only two or three curtain calls greeted the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra during Asia Orchestra Week, but ten! Indeed the opening performance for the weeklong event was a roaring success.
Japanese nationals and other nationalities that are into classical music filled the wooden walls of Tokyo Opera City Hall on the 5th of October to listen to the exciting repertoire lined up for them. Filipinos who wished to support their fellowmen as well as enjoy an afternoon of culture also filled the seats for the audience.
The program for each orchestra was composed of three parts: a symphonic piece by the country’s native composer, a piece featuring a native soloist and a symphony relevant to the orchestra. The first part of the program was a performance of Redentor Romero’s Philippine Portraits – a nostalgic treat for the Filipinos in the audience for its familiar folk songs incorporated into the piece. Foreign audiences enjoyed the colorful percussion and festive air of the composition.
The next part of the program showcased the young, talented Heliodoro “Dingdong” Fiel II – an internationally awarded solo pianist who was accompanied by the orchestra to Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninov. Fiel’s fingers flew gracefully on the keys and gave a performance with fervor while the orchestra gave the piece the right amount of color. Mr. Fiel, ending the song with a soft, airy note was greeted by thundering applause wherein he was compelled to perform a short, contemporary piece as an encore.
After an intermission, the audience was greeted by an eruption of fanfare for Tchaikowsky’s Symphony No. 4. The entire symphony was divided into four movements, which were dramatically interpreted by the orchestra. The piece was concluded with power and emotion that drove the audience to a clapping frenzy for minutes on end. The orchestra did an encore with Overture on Philippine Folk Songs, which was also greeted by applause. After grateful bows and enough praise to last a lifetime, the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra went home with a performance to remember.