Culture

Czech Symphonic Rock Concert is Great Success

The Symphonic Rock Orchestra of Prague completely engaged its audience last night at Tempodrom by performing rock hits with classic arrangements

November 28th, 2016
Chiara Ceccato and Laura Pelone, Berlin Global
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On the evening of 20th November, the famous Berlin arena Tempodrom hosted the Symphonic Rock Orchestra of Prague. The occasion was a special concert that created a new experience of live music by mixing the classical arrangement of an orchestra with classic rock melodies from the last 40 years.

The orchestra enters the stage perfectly on time, with all of the musicians wearing black clothes. Friedemann Riehle, the German director, arrives and the music starts, softly playing ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd. All the participants are introduced: the orchestra is playing, the three singers add their voices one by one, and the electric guitar, played by Rony Janecek, is performing solos.

It is just after this opening that the director introduces the project and he briefly presents the following cover song, with a very concise style he will keep for the rest of the evening, in order to give more space to the music and let it speak for itself.

The strong pace of Deep Purple contrasts with the warmness of the first piece and the drums, played by František Hönig, become the main character. But soon the stage is hit by the vocalist Nikoleta Spalasová, who sings the famous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin and it fills us with wonder. Her clear and powerful voice is alternated with the instrumental parts of the song, which have a particular vigor with the perfect coordination of the orchestra.

The concert assumes an almost dramatic emphasis with ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ by Queen, but it quickly changes in their cheerful ‘Friends Will Be Friends’, keeping the set list varied and dynamic.

To close the first half of the event, Friedemann proposes a change of paradigm: the majesty of the Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Beethoven is enriched by the rock sound of Rony’s guitar. He is playing the secondary theme with a big smile that makes the audience laugh, but he also succeeds in demonstrating a new, young and positive approach to classic music, contrasting to the general stereotype which sees it as just a serious task.

After a break, rock hits come in succession: one of the singers interprets Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ and ‘She is a Killing Machine’, while the violins perform together in a virtuosic solo, just before the trumpet takes their place, accompanied by the insisting drums. U2, The Police and Queen follow. After ‘The Show Must Go On’ the audience explodes into big applause, which can only be silenced by adding two extra songs.

The concert was a great success. It is proof that classic music is still current, but also that rock hits can be considered part of art and culture and they are becoming part of our tradition, with their capability of surviving time.

 

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