The evening started with the audience being wished a "Happy Hallowe'en, if such a thing is appropriate" by maestro Peter Oundjian. "Dances from Powder Her Face" by British composer Thomas Ades, received it's Canadian premiere to open the concert. It had just enough lyrical bits to outweigh it being another odd contemporary piece. It's one I could sit through again. Oundjian mentioned in his introduction that it had some tango moments in the style of Astor Piazzolla which I was listening for. There were a few near the end, although brief enough that just when you're looking forward to it going somewhere, it changed and disappeared.
Music by Benjamin Britten seems to be popular everywhere this season since it would be his 100th
|Phan and Deland (Photo by Josh Clavir)|
Finally after intermission, what I had been waiting for. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir filled the loft and launched into the opening "O Fortuna" with power. How could you not with a full orchestra and two concert grand pianos on stage! I hadn't read the text before and had no idea it was actually broken up into three segments (Spring, In the Tavern, and The Courts of Love) after the opening Fortune, Empress of the World. The sections within the segments range from powerful and deep, to the somewhat silly "The Roast Swan Sings" (although maybe there's something profound I'm missing). Phan added a few gestures that provided a humerous interlude to lighten what is otherwise a pretty serious piece.
|TSO and soloists (jameswestman.com)|
Hopefully the TSO brings this piece back again soon. I know I'd love to hear it again!