Vanessa-Mae live in Ludwigsburg

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Xanthippe
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Vanessa-Mae live in Ludwigsburg

Post by Xanthippe » Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:00 pm

General impression
This particular concert of Vanessa-Mae was among the best of the nine times that we have seen her till now. It was a delight to hear that she did several of her well-known classics in special arrangements with new twists. This is certainly a development in her live performances that we welcome specifically because it shows that she still grows as live performer, and it provides new versions of famous music in new arrangements that appeared to work all very well. Moreover, both Vanessa-Mae and the band played passionately and energetically, Vanessa-Mae centred on stage and walking around to all corners making sure that all visitors could get a good glimpse of her, smiling to the audience as if she gave everyone individually the idea that she knew you were there too. Also, the string orchestra was very good. In general, the quality of the sound was good, especially considering that the concert was an outdoors event. Although the day was a comfortable late summer day in early September, the evening turned out to be rather chilly after sunset, which made an extra warm sweater necessary. The chilly temperatures also had an effect on the instruments as well. In particularly, Vanessa-Mae had to tune her violins several times in between songs. Remarkable, Vanessa-Mae was dressed lightly in a wonderful red evening dress. She made some remarks thanking the audience to have stayed for her during the chilly evening. This concert was in the framework of a new tour of concerts the so-called Magic Violin Period Tour in which Vanessa-Mae plays a representative selection of songs covering her complete repertoire from The Violin Player to Choreography. However, songs from Choreography are still well represented, although only the fifth piece came from her latest album where on the Choreography Tour focus of the show was from the start (Sabre Dance) on Choreography. The track listing for the program is give below. Our estimate is that about 3,000-3,500 people were attending Vanessa-Mae's concert. Vanessa-Mae is very loved and popular in Germany among a wide range of people, which is reflected in her audiences varying among all ages from elderly, middle-aged, families with children, teenagers, and all cultures and races. Besides professionals, we saw people taking photos and videos from the audience. We too managed to bring in our camera Nikon D700 with 70-300 mm zoom to make photos, of which a selection is shown latter in this review. The support act for the evening came from a local band called Experience playing a mix of well-know pop classics and compositions of their own.

The program

- Storm -
- Retro -
- Bach Street Prelude -

- short speech by Vanessa-Mae -

- Red Hot -
- Roxanne's Veil -
- Emerald Tiger -

-------- electric intermezzo with --------

- Laughing Buddha -

- short speech by Vanessa-Mae -

- Contradanza -
- Hocus Pocus -

-------- break --------

- Sabre Dance -
- Wilde Screen -

- short speech by Vanessa-Mae -

- Bolero for violin and orchestra -
- I Am A Doun -
- Tango De Los Exilados -
- The Havana Slide -
- Tribal Gathering -

- short speech by Vanessa-Mae -

- Toccata & Fugue -

-------- encore --------

- Art Of War (aka The Power Of C) -



The setting of the concert
Vanessa-Mae's concert was part of a The Kreissparkasse Ludwigsburg Music Open that took place from Thursday September 2 till Sunday September 4 of 2010 in the city castle of Ludwigsburg. The so-called Residenzschloss. The concerts were held each evening in the inner courtyard of the castle. The line of the main acts were Jan Delay & Disko No.1 + Culcha Candela (Sept. 2), Vanessa-Mae (Sept. 3) and Udo Jürgens (Sept. 4). All acts that played at the festival are nationally celebrated musicians, beside Vanessa-Mae who is, of course, a real top act in the international music scene. The online announcement for Vanessa-Mae's concert can be viewed at Vanessa-Mae at the Ludwigsburg Music open. The official concert flyer is shown below. The ain sponsor for the music festival was the Kreissparkasse Ludwigsburg, the local bank for the region of and around Ludwigsburg.


Vanessa-Mae at her concert
It is always a joy to see Vanessa-Mae perform live on stage at a concert. This concert in Ludwigsburg marks the 9th time that we have seen Vanessa-Mae perform live on stage, and each time again we were anxious, even nervous, to find how she would look, what kind of clothes she would wear, the way her hair would be styled, and what her make-up would look like. We think that many fans share this same emotion that is the extension of her charm; and it is contagious and addictive: once you have seen her live, you want more, you will never get enough of her. This evening, Vanessa-Mae appeared on stage in a fantastic knee-length sleeveless red dress of some fluttering light fibre, most likely silk, that had a round wide collar with ruffles. Vanessa-Mae had her hair in braids on top and to the side of her head, and hanging in free style on her back. Her face was, of course, more than perfect, meticulously made up to a impeccable flawless complexion with covering foundation crème, only a small line of dark shadow on her upper lid, excessively used mascara that created shadows by the incidence of the spotlight underneath her eyes when closed, with brows shaped to perfect arcs with a black pencil, and lips painted in glossy cerise red completed Vanessa-Mae's face wear, everything done in such a ways to have the make-up obviously visible without creating too painted looks. Vanessa-Mae was on pink open shoes with spike heels; she had no jewelleries and had a silver belt around her waist to have that hold her connectors on her back to plug in the violins. Needless to say that she looked awesome as always. The magic for a spectacular concert was present immediately when she entered the stage to receive standing ovations from the audience. The 19 photos below are a selection from the more than 300 that we made during the concert, and this series give a solid impression about Vanessa-Mae's looks.

Description of the concert
Vanessa-Mae appeared on stage for the start of her program at 21:20 and finished at 23:15. With a short break of about 15 minutes, she played about 1 hrs and 40 minutes. Most of the songs were played by Vanessa-Mae on her acoustic Guadagnini violin, except for those pieces listed at the electric intermezzo. The concert started with her blockbuster hit Storm that is part of her all her concerts worldwide - photos 1 to 5 were taken when Vanessa-Mae played Storm. Vanessa-Mae starting with this lively and brilliant piece of music set the mood for the whole concert to spectacle and passion. Storm was played according the lines as it is on the album. Retro, too from the album Storm, followed. And then came one of the highlights of the evening, as far as we are concerned, Bach Street prelude. Vanessa-Mae sat down on the stage with her legs over the edge - see the photos 6-15 - to play the Bach street Prelude accompanied only by her percussionist using all kind of small instruments like sticks, bells and more like this. Bach Street Prelude started quietly, and as it progressed, Vanessa-Mae and the percussionist came engaged in a dialogue that whipped up steed loudness and passion. Vanessa-Mae always brings the Bach Street Prelude like this, and it is always such a joy to see and hear her play this particular piece that has become one of our favorites at her concerts.

After finishing Bach Street Prelude, Vanessa-Mae addressed the audience in a short speech. She told us how delighted she was to play in Germany at a wonderful music festival. She thanked the sponsors for their invitation, and she thanked the audience for showing up an such large numbers to resist the chilly evening to hear her. She stated that she wanted to guide the listeners through a selection of pieces form her repertoire, and that she wanted to show how versatile the violin can be, not only playing classics but also modern music.

Next followed Red Hot, a composition by Vanessa-Mae herself that was her second pop single from her blockbuster album The Violin Player that is always recognised and welcomed by audiences instantaneously. Then she played the first pieces from her latest album Choreography, being Emerald tiger and Roxannes Veil. emerald Tiger is spectacular to see live on stage because it has so much dynamics. Roxannes Veil is so touchy and moody, it is quiet but with lots of expression. During Roxannes Veil, Vanessa-Mae's Saying power On Strings (VMSPOS) becomes lively apparent: definitely a brilliant piece of music composed by Vangelis.

Then Vanessa-Mae picked up her white electric Jazz Fusion violin from the table. After a bit of tuning, she played Laughing Buddha from the Subject To Change album. During this piece, Vanessa-Mae used pedals to trigger a certain electric effect. We have seen Vanessa-Mae play this piece at most of the concerts that we attended since 2001, and several times she encountered problems that the pedals weren't working properly resulting in that the effect was not audible. This time, however, everything was functioning as intended.

Next followed another short speech of Vanessa-Mae. She mentioned that she wanted to bring a couple of pieces played on electric violin. First, she introduced Contradanza that also originates from her early career during The Violin Player period. She mentioned that all members of the band would do a little solo in this special version of Contradanza. She concluded the speech by telling that Hocus Pocus from Storm would conclude the first part of her show and that a short break would follow. Now, Contradanza was played in a special arrangement, allowing all musicians from her band to engage in a short solo to excel their skills. Finally before the break, Hocus Pocus was played in a rather traditional arrangement.

After the break, Vanessa-Mae continued to play on her acoustic Guadagnini violin. She opened the second leg of her concert with Sabre Dance from the Choreography album, played in a normal fashion. Normally Sabre Dance formed the start of her Choreography tour concerts, but this time it came first in line after the break. Sabre Dance is always Next song, Wide Screen from The Violin Player, was really a surprise because Vanessa-Mae has never played it before at any of the concerts that we attended.

Then Vanessa-Mae had a short speech again in which she told the audience that the show would slow down a bit with a couple of more classical oriented pieces that would include Bolero, I Am A Doun and Tango de Los Exilados. All these three pieces were very well played with Vanessa-Mae show casing all her technical skills. Especially, I Am A Doun, that is on both The Classical Album 1 and Storm, was wonderfully performed in a unique arrangement. Vanessa-Mae started quietly on her violin accompanied by piano only. As the song progressed, gradually more instruments joined from the band and string orchestra, as well as the level of the sound increased: truly a wonderful version and well played by all musicians.

The concert was speed up again with the up tempo Havana Slide that is always cheerful and it is nice to see Vanessa-Mae's joy to play this one, showing her smile to the audience very often. Tribal Gathering followed. And this is really a complex composition. In this evening's version, more percussion and guitar was used, to support the accompanying string orchestra. Tribal Gathering is definitely one of our favourites, but we suspect not all fans value this unusual and somehow experimental composition equally outspoken.

Next, Vanessa-Mae addressed the audience again. She told that she would now play a final piece that all would recognise immediately, and that she remembered playing in Germany for the first time, some 15-16 years ago on television at a show of Thomas Gottschalk, a famous and popular German show host. Obviously, many in the audience remembered Vanessa-Mae's performance on this show, judging the chuckling heard among the public. Vanessa-Mae joked that she was very much younger back then, but about the same height. Indeed, her figure and posture have hardly changed in all those years. Of course, Vanessa-Mae referred to Toccata & Fugue, her block buster hit world wide from the The Violin Player album.

After finishing Toccata & Fugue, Vanessa-Mae received flowers from a representative of the sponsors and she left the stage shortly, to enter again for an encore. Surprisingly, Vanessa-Mae played The Art Of War, also known as The Power Of C, that is not on any of her albums, but that was used in Germany by Mercedes to support their new Mercedes C class model. Vanessa-Mae made this special arrangement of Prokofiev's 'Dance Of The Knights,' that is part of his famous ballet 'Romeo And Juliet.' The song is full of dynamics, and it is up tempo with a few slow scenes. Truly, a brilliant end of a fantastic evening.

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This text is available at my website VMSPO at Vanessa-Mae live in Ludwigsburg. Photos (19) of Vanessa-Mae at her concert can be found there. I will add more photos from time to time.

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CarrollTowerCX
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Re: Vanessa-Mae live in Ludwigsburg

Post by CarrollTowerCX » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:21 am

Xanthippe,

Thank you for this very interesting review of Vanessa-Mae's concert. I see it as very complete and gives us unfortunates who were unable to attend a feeling for her stellar performance. The photographs look very professional. I will be looking forward to seeing more of them.

I sure hope to see a video of this performance.

May she play forever !

CX

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