It was a hot summer day on the final day of the Edmonton Symphony Under the Sky Festival. Although I was sweltering in my jeans and long-sleeved t-shirt dress, I enjoyed the sizzling weather nonetheless and was happy to see so many familiar faces (some of whom also happen to be blog readers-thanks Kate and Leanne!).
The Monday afternoon concert began with a dual offering of Gershwin with "An American in Paris," which is so wonderfully cheeky and "Rhapsody in Blue" with its amazing reedy glissando at the start of the piece. Pianist, Sarah Ho, played with an elegant and agile energy in "Rhapsody in Blue" and was gorgeous in her white asymmetrical gown.
Marquez's "Danzon No. 2" was definitely a repertoire surprise for me since I had never heard it but I loved its saucy percussive beat and the use of different orchestral textures. Especially the musical banter between the strings and brass section. The "Brazilian Fanfare" by Clarice Assad was also a nice survey piece of Brazilian musical genres.
Every year there is a young composer who debuts a piece at the festival and this year it was highschool student, Andrew Reid, with his work "Echoes of Time." It was a lovely atmospheric piece that could easily serve as a score for an upcoming movie. Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" wrapped up the festival, as is tradition, with canons from the 20th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery. Once the canons start going off, the orchestral chimes signal the victory bells that are ringing and the audience joins in with their own percussion instruments from ringing bells to jiggling car keys. Since I forgot my bells, I decided to download a last-minute "Jingle Bells" app to join in. I have to admit, it definitely was not as resonant as a real bell.
The festival was fantastic this year with a record breaking number of over 12 000 seats sold! I just want to say a thank-you to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for continuing to put on an amazing labour day weekend festival and for Phil for arranging my blogging tickets. Do check out the upcoming concerts for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since the Symphony Under the Sky Festival is only the start to their musical offerings this season.
Until next time, take care readers!