Published on May 26th, 2024 | by Joseph Bistak

MSO Mozart & Tchaikovsky Review

Korean conductor Han-Na Chang is currently conducting and touring with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in a performance of musical treasures plus lively works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky’s striking Fifth Symphony.

The Review

Playing in Geelong for one night only was Han-Na Chang and the MSO! The end result? An absolutely magical night and perfect performance by The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra lead by Han-Na Chang. I’ve attended many concerts by the MSO in the past, however last night’s performance of Mozart and Tchaikovsky set a new bar.

Although the MSO are always spectacular, a highlight of this performance was the amazing conductor Han-Na Chang who (virtually) lifted the whole orchestra on her shoulders – she had no music in front of her but she knew from second to second which player had to be called on to play. High or low, she moved almost like an acrobat and never stood still for a second which was a pure treat to watch and I’m sure she will have a long and great career as a conductor in the world of classical music.

Another memorable (and great) moment was when the bassoon player Jack Schiller masterfully played his instrument. This was a first for me as I never had the opportunity to hear Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto as this solo bassoon played this music. Like something from another world, Jack became part of the bassoon and it was absolutely magical the way he played as he “became” part of this instrument. Fantastic.

Final Thoughts?

The MSO Mozart & Tchaikovsky performance was a truly enchanting night. The entire orchestra were a pure joy to watch and hear, especially how the conductor Han-Na Chang glanced at the musicians to play their part in this spectacular performance. All in all a wonderful night of classic music and its best and hopefully both Han-Na Chang and the MSO return to Geelong soon.

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About this performance

Join Korean conductor Han-Na Chang as she conducts the MSO in this delightful program of musical treasures, including lively works by Mozart, and Tchaikovsky’s striking Fifth Symphony.

  • Mozart’s lively and charming Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (or ‘A Little Night Music’) is one of classical music’s most widely recognisable tunes, referenced frequently in popular culture from Mr Bean to The Simpsons. Interestingly, this now ubiquitous work remained unpublished until after Mozart’s death, when it was sold to a publisher. It was not released until 1827 – four decades after its composition.
  • The Bassoon – the lowest member of the woodwind family – is one of the most characterful and versatile instruments of the orchestra. Its potential for expressivity – from virtuosic staccatos to gentle yearning lyricism – is fully explored in this concerto by Mozart, played here by MSO’s very own Principal Bassoon, the exceptional Jack Schiller.
  • Tchaikovsky suffered from extreme self-doubt throughout his career. This is explored quite explicitly in his Fifth Symphony, where the opening notes establish the role of ‘fate’ (much like another famous ‘Fifth’ Symphony by Beethoven). While the reoccurring theme throughout this work may reflect Tchaikovsky’s own resignation to forces outside his control, this colourful Symphony is filled with glimmers of brightness, grace and triumph over adversity.

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