SZSO to hold concerts at Bay Opera of Shenzhen

Writer: Li Dan  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-02-10

Good news for music lovers who live in Bao’an and Nanshan districts. Between Friday and March 3, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra (SZSO) will perform four concerts at the Bay Opera of Shenzhen, presenting masterpieces of Richard Strauss, Mahler, Shostakovich, Wagner, Elgar and Dvořák.

On Friday, Feb. 10, conducted by SZSO artistic director Lin Daye, the orchestra will perform Strauss’ “The Four Last Songs” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 4.” The show will feature Shanghai Opera House soprano Song Qian.

Song Qian

“The Last Four Songs,” the final works completed by Strauss, consists of “Frühling” (“Spring”), “September,” “Beim Schlafengehen” (“When Falling Asleep”) and “Im Abendrot” (“At Sunset”), suffused with a sense of calmness, acceptance and completeness. The combination of a beautiful vocal line with prominent horn parts in all four songs references Strauss’ own life; his wife Pauline de Ahna was a famous soprano and his father was a professional horn player.

In contrast to Mahler’s previous three symphonies that had won him a reputation as a great noisemaker and musical modernist, his No. 4 possesses a quiet intimacy and childlike simplicity despite its refinements. It’s also noted for its rich allusions to Schubert and folk music.

On Feb. 17, conducted by veteran Zhang Guoyong, who is an expert of Russian works, the orchestra will perform Shostakovich’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” and “Symphony No. 8.” In this symphony not often heard at concerts, Shostakovich referenced themes, rhythms and harmonies from his previous symphonies, most notably “Symphony No. 5” and “Symphony No. 7.” Thought by critics as one of his most refined scores, this piece has the nickname “Stalingrad Symphony.” Despite its falling within the tradition of C minor “tragedy to triumph” symphonies, this piece has some degree of optimism present in the final pages. The featured soloist will be young violinist Li Yuhe.

Li Yuhe

On Feb. 24, led by prominent Chinese conductor Yu Long, the orchestra will perform Wagner’s “Tannhäuser: Overture” and “Wesendonck Lieder,” and Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben” (“A Hero’s Life”). A fan of Wagner, Strauss and his fellow German predecessor were both renowned for their intense emotional expressions and mastery of complex musical construction. Mezzo-soprano Zhu Huiling will be the featured soloist.

Zhu Huiling

On March 3, conducted by the young maestro Chen Yanlin, the orchestra will present Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E Minor” and Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9,” a fan favorite that often appears in the classical repertoire of orchestras around the world.

Introspective and restrained, Elgar’s cello concerto is a somber work, reflecting the sorrows faced by the composer’s homeland Britain in the closing months of World War I. Cellist Qin Liwei, recognized for his extraordinary technical fluency, musical intelligence and sensitivity, will headline the concert.

Time: 8 p.m., Feb. 10, 17, 24, March 3

Tickets: 50-480 yuan

Booking: WeChat account “深圳滨海艺术中心”

Venue: Bay Opera of Shenzhen, Bao’an District (深圳滨海艺术中心)

Metro: Line 5 to Baohua Station (宝华站), Exit A