Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal's Beethoven and Bizet: Symphonies in C

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Ott 23 2008, 15:50

Mon 20 Oct – Beethoven and Bizet: Symphonies in C

As the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal's (OMGM) regular conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, was off working in Europe, he invited the French conductor Fabien Gabel to direct the second concert of the OMGM's 2008-2009 season. This was Gabel's North American debut.

Unfortunately for Gabel, things got off to a rocky start. It was by no means his fault: the technicians at the Place-des-Arts could not get the lights to work in the Théâtre Maisonneuve! The start of the concert was delayed a good 20 minutes. Even then, the lights caused problems throughout the evening. The audience seemed distracted, even nervous, wondering if the lights would go out completely, leaving the orchestra in the dark. Fortunately, that did not happen, and the performers were consummate professionals, not letting the situation bother them.

The first half of the concert began with Gabel leading the orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21, which was will received. Then followed a more difficult work, Canadian composer
R. Murray Schafer's The Darkly Splendid Earth: The Lonely Traveller. This work, for violin and orchestra, featured Noémi Racine Gaudreault as solo violin. Gaudreault amazed the audience with her virtuosity, hitting notes that were so high as to be almost inaudible. This contemporary work was also well received, and Gaudreault was warmly applauded.

The most popular work was in the second half: Bizet's Symphony In C Major. With its recognizable melodies (Lise Beauchamp's oboe in the second movement, and the rollicking third movement), it ended with much applause.

And with much relief: the lights were still on.

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