Wednesday, April 8, 2015

TSO: Thursday, April 2 2015

The matinee concert began with music from one of my favourite composers, Richard Wagner. The first piece was the Prelude to Act I from the opera, Lohengrin. This opera (1848) is based on a legend about Lohengrin, the pure-hearted Knight of the Holy Grail, who is drawn along rivers in a boat pulled by swans. This prelude evokes the mystical, slightly eerie, atmosphere around the Knight. The second piece, the Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin, is much better known as it is played more often. It is bright and happy, leading up to the marriage of the Knight to his lady, Princess Elsa.

James Conion conducted, and there were standing ovations as it was so well performed under his baton.

The concert continued with Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.35 (1945). This was played by Jonathon Crow, the Concertmaster of the TSO. He stood on short notice for the guest violinist who could not make it. The audience were fortunate to hear this little, performed piece. It is highly original, and very modern in its sound. Jonathon Crow is an outstanding performer and we were fortunate to hear such an interesting piece played by such a virtuoso. Again, standing ovations.

After the intermission, we enjoyed Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36 (1877) by Piotr IlyichTchaikovsky. It speaks to the adversities of life, and how so often Fate seems to interfere with our desire for a peaceful life. It ends on a triumphant note, illustrating that adversity can be overcome, and life continues on.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is of an international standard, and this concert certainly demonstrated that. There were at least five recalls of the conductor to standing ovations.

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