Music Review: HIAISHI & LA MER (Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl)

Post image for Music Review: HIAISHI & LA MER (Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl)

by Jakera Willis on August 28, 2023

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles

The sold-out performance at the Hollywood Bowl, led by the multi-talented Joe Hisaishi, was an unforgettable evening that showcased the brilliance of Hisaishi’s compositions and the exceptional talent of the orchestra. As a composer known for his work on numerous film scores, particularly those in collaboration with renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki, Hisaishi brought his distinct musical style to life on stage conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Joe Hisaishi

The concert commenced with the Symphonic Variations and the Merry-Go-Round from Howl’s Moving Castle, a personal favorite. The delicate notes resonated through the air, captivating the listeners and creating an enchanting atmosphere that held us in rapt attention.

Following this mesmerizing performance, the orchestra delved into Debussy’s sea-inspired, impressionistic La mer. The first movement, “Play of the Waves,” was a delightful and playful representation of the ocean’s constant ebb and flow. The plucked strings mimicked the gentle patter of raindrops on the ocean’s deep, building up to a crescendo that mirrored the stormy intensity of the sea. Ultimately, the calming strum of the harps brought the piece to a serene conclusion.

Janet Todd, Soprano

However, it was the Princess Mononoke Suite that truly stole the show. The addition of Janet Todd, a remarkable soprano, added an extra layer of beauty to the already dramatic composition. Dressed in a stunning red gown, Todd’s ethereal voice soared above the orchestra, creating a captivating juxtaposition between the sweetness of the strings and the drama of the drums. Throughout the suite, the musicians displayed incredible restraint and composure, expertly guided by Joe Hisaishi himself, who also showcased his exceptional piano skills in two solos: One Summer’s Day and Ask Me Why.”

The evening concluded just as it had begun, with the audience hanging onto every note, melody, and stroke of the baton. It was undeniably a night to remember, a testament to the extraordinary talent of Hisaishi, the LA Philharmonic, and Janet Todd. For anyone who appreciates Hisaishi’s work or simply enjoys a captivating symphonic experience, witnessing his performances is an absolute must.

Leave a Comment