My first visit to the Royal Concertgebouw concert hall in Amsterdam on 21 May 2019.
The acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
The programme was:
- M. Weinberg – Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, op. 47/1
- Prokofjev – Piano Concerto No. 5, op. 55
- Prokofjev – Vivo from Piano Concerto No. 5, op. 55 (encore)
- Stravinsky – Firebird
Yuja Wang was ‘stellar’ of course, vivacious, full of vitality.
But what struck me immediately was the beautiful acoustics of the Concertgebouw hall.
I should not have been surprised, as this space is well known as one the world’s finest concert halls. The reputation of this hall is well deserved.
Similar in interior shape to our own Auckland Town Hall, a classic ‘shoe-box’ concert hall form. The Concertgebouw has similar height, perhaps a little longer and around 1/3 wider. The Concertgebouw also has curved stage-end wall corners.
The Concertgebouw sound has wide tonal bandwidth, from strong, clear, bass through to brilliant sparkling highs. Warm and resonant but also, the clarity of individual instruments seems effortless.
This, despite my seating up on the balcony side, half way down the hall.
This (late-booked) seating position however, was not perfect for the piano, which was a bit less clear because the piano lid ‘projects’ better out to the lower level seating.
However, a memorable evening.
Yuja Wang sample (different concert):