Classical News

May 23, 2016

Review: Branford Marsalis and City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong

South China Morning Post
Robin Lynam

Jazz saxophonist’s Hong Kong debut, in a concert of classical music, was well received, his playing by turns romantic, reflective and warm but with few outlets for his virtuosity

Best known as a jazzman, in recent years saxophonist Branford Marsalis has also appeared often in concert as a classical musician. It was as a soloist with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong that he made his Hong Kong debut.

The programme comprised four pieces, two of which featured Marsalis.

The orchestra, conducted by Alexandre Myrat, opened with the first of two compositions by Darius Milhaud, a jazz-influenced composer who in turn influenced jazz through his pupil, Dave Brubeck.

Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit is one of his best known works, inspired by Brazilian carnival music.

A spirited performance of it was well received by the audience before Marsalis joined the orchestra for Milhaud’s playful Scaramouche suite for alto saxophone.

Marsalis said before the concert that he had never performed the difficult first movement of this piece fully to his own satisfaction, but perhaps this was the night.

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