Sunday, November 13, 2011

Symphony Night Out

Greetings readers!

Tonight I attended the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's Masters concert which showcased the talents of the ESO in addition to Jens Lindemann and the Richard Eaton Singers. The concert was dedicated to the late Dr. Malcolm Forsyth. The ESO in conjunction with the National Arts Centre Orchestra co-commissioned "A Ballad of Canada" by Forsyth.

As much as I wanted to like, "A Ballad of Canada," since it was performed in memory of Forsyth tonight, it definitely wasn't my top pick for the evening. It just felt like the piece wasn't settled. It was a combination to Eddins' unaccommodating gestures to the choir and the choirs' vocal hesitation in trying to deliver what he wasn't cueing. I just felt like there was a breakdown in the conductor and choir relationship and it resulted in circumstances that didn't make for a stellar performance. As for the music itself, it had some cool percussion artillery sound effects, especially in the "Flanders Fields" movement.

The show-stopping piece for the evening was definitely the world premiere of Meechan's orchestral version of "Apophenia." The soloist for this piece was Jens Lindemann who had four types of trumpets which he used throughout the entire piece: a trumpet, a cornet, a flugelhorn, and a high E flat trumpet. It was stellar hearing the different brassy sound textures throughout the entire piece. Lindemann was definitely showcasing the sound extremes that could be created on each of these instruments, from the mellow sounding flugelhorn to the high E flat trumpet and its brassy belts that ripped through the concert hall. The piece had movements with laid-back jazzy vibes to a rock-and-roll section with a killer drum solo as well. I enjoy watching a classy tuxedo-wearing man tearing it up on a drum set. The ESO also performed Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E minor. It is a gorgeous piece with a moving melodic third movement, however, I felt like I reached listening saturation about 20 minutes into the 54 minute piece. Clearly, I need to build up my listening stamina!

Overall, I had a great night out at the Symphony! I saw lots of familiar faces in the audience as well as on stage and got to hear some new music as well.

Until next time, take care readers!

P.S. I'll have Pro Coro updates soon as well.

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