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  • LIFESTYLE

    Bangkok to hear Bartók's Viola Concerto

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 13/03/2018

    » So many jokes have been written about the viola that it really should be pitied. Without a look of its own (the viola resembles an overweight violin), without its own sound quality (it shares three-quarter of the violin notes, three-quarter of the cello notes), stuck behind the violins in the orchestra, the poor viola is hardly singular. In fact, when Hector Berlioz wrote solo viola into the Harold In Italy symphony, Paganini refused to play it. And the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, noting how the viola shared the looks and music of other stringed instruments, called the instrument "the hermaphrodite of the orchestra".

  • LIFESTYLE

    Swashbuckling Shostakovich

    Life, Published on 13/03/2018

    » In its signature hall at Mahidol University, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) earlier this month gave us a most enjoyable Rhapsody In Blue by Gershwin, with the piano brightly and playfully played by Bennett Lerner, then keyed us in for darker drama from Shostakovich's Symphony No.5 -- an epic piece from a composer whose music often caused him serious problems with Stalin's USSR government (Gershwin was probably banned there for being too American and decadent, so a good programming link to Shostakovich).

  • LIFESTYLE

    Bad Genius sweeps Subannahongsa Awards

    Life, Published on 13/03/2018

    » Capping a spectacular year, the exam-room thriller Chalat Game Geong (Bad Genius) swept the Subannahongsa Awards -- the closest thing to the Thai Oscars -- by winning 12 out of the 16 categories in a ceremony on Sunday night at Thailand Cultural Centre.

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