Towards the end of the HK Sinfonietta's Birthday Rhapsody concert earlier this evening, the orchestra's Conductor and Music Director, Yip Wing-sie, told the audience that like many of us, she doesn't like working on her birthday and joked that when she found out that she had to work on October 5, her birthday, this year, she said that she would only do so if the orchestra got to include a birthday-related piece in the programme.
Well, she got her wish -- and the HK Sinfonietta's spirited rendition of composer Peter Heidrich's fun Happy Birthday Variations turned out to be one of the highlights of the musical evening. At the same time, what really made the concert for me was a performance of Sergei Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43, with the nimble-fingered Cristina Ortiz on the piano. In particular, that portion of the piece that this movie buff first got acquainted with by way of Somewhere in Time sounded truly sublime when heard being played live by the concert's musicians.
So here's taking the opportunity to express my gratitude on this blog to them for their music making and -- even though she'll probably never come across it over here in this modest section of cyberspace -- extend happy birthday greetings to Ms. Yip! :)