QPO's Timeless Tunes: A Night Of Pop Music Magic

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut | The Peninsula

Doha: music has the power to evoke a sense of place, transporting listeners to different worlds and sparking memories of times past. It creates immersive landscapes, transforming a theatre, music hall, festival, or arena into a shared space where musicians and audiences craft, perform, sing, and dance together. This collective experience of sound connects us, allowing us to feel the rhythm of different eras. Such was the enchantment of the latest concert by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO), titled“Pop Greatest Hits.” Held at the Qatar National Convention Centre last Thursday, the event made the audience feel ecstatic, grooving, hopeful, magical, and nostalgic.

The concert featured hits from the world of pop, blending orchestral grandeur with modern melodies. Guest performers from both local and international stages joined the orchestra, adding a rich diversity of voices and styles to the performance.

Dr. Nasser Sahim, QPO Deputy Executive Director and the mastermind behind the concert, shared with The Peninsula that crafting and rearranging the songs took about a month. Songs were re-arranged by him, as well as Giovanni Pasini, Islam El Hefnawy, Ahmed Oweda, Mohamed Oweda, and Makharov Nodirbek. This concert marked the first time the orchestra had performed such a programme, and Dr. Sahim announced plans to make it an annual event.

“We received incredibly positive feedback from the audience today. They loved the classic tracks we performed and are eager for more. We will continue hosting similar performances because this is what we miss in Doha - so audience would not have to travel [outside the country] to attend such concert,” Dr. Sahim explained.

Regarding the balance of orchestral and modern music in QPO concerts, Dr. Sahim emphasised the orchestra's versatility:“We aim to educate and showcase a variety of musical heritages, presenting not just classical pieces but also different styles and arrangements.”

“Music is a universal language that everyone understands. It opens doors and creates connections.”

Pop music, with its catchy hooks, relatable lyrics, and emotional resonance, connects with listeners on many levels. The concert began with Gloria Gaynor's“I Will Survive,” eliciting cheers from the audience. This was followed by Frank Sinatra's“Fly Me to the Moon,” Toni Braxton's“Unbreak My Heart,” Doris Day's“Perhaps,” and Elvis Presley's“Can't Help Falling in Love,” which brought about a whimsical scene as couples swayed together. Mariah Carey's“Hero,” Amy Winehouse's“Back to Black,” Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's“When You Believe,” and The Eagles'“Hotel California” rounded out the first part of the program.

The second part featured songs including Auli'i Cravalho's“How Far I'll Go,” Banah's“I Put a Spell On You,” Lionel Richie's“Hello,” Gotye ft. Kimbra's“Somebody That I Used to Know,” Adele's“Hello,” Whitney Houston's“I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Chris Isaak's“Wicked Game,” and George Michael's“Careless Whisper.” The concert concluded with Earth, Wind & Fire's“September,” bringing all the singers on stage, transforming the theatre into a joyous celebration.

The vocalists included Wakasa, Mark Albert Bertényi, Samantha Echevarria Vigo, Lina, Yochabel Reynes, Ahmed El Helou, Layla Al Thani, and Karmah Gerges.

This concert not only showcased the prowess of QPO, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, but also nurtured local talent. Many guest artists were from the Nagham competition under the Ministry of Culture's Music Affairs Center, while other two came from as far as Japan and Finland. Dr. Sahim highlighted the importance of such collaborations and said that such partnerships help educate the local population about various musical styles, from classical to modern, and create interaction between different musicians, singers, and soloists.

Moreover, the concert transported us to the best of the pop era, highlighting the timeless connection that music provides. Regardless of genre - be it classical, pop, jazz, baroque, or Gulf folk - music binds us together. Dr. Sahim underscored the importance of remembering and celebrating the musical heritage:“We must look back to appreciate the present. It's essential for children and visitors to discover and preserve the cultural and musical heritage of our country.”

The“Pop Greatest Hits” concert transcended mere musical performance; it was a celebration of the timeless allure of music in bridging time and space. As the final notes of“September” reverberated through the theatre hall, the audience left with a sense of unity, bound by the shared joy of timeless melodies.

And Thursday's concert shone brightly, much like the lyrics:“Our souls were singing, Do you remember never a cloudy day? There was a Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), say, do you remember? Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), dancing in September Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), never was a cloudy day.”


The Peninsula

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