Community Concert patrons who came to see the Pentaedre Wind Quartet last Wednesday were in for a surprise; it was, in fact, a wind quintet. The five instruments, bassoon, French horn, clarinet, oboe and flute blended together amazingly well — it was like hearing a rainbow of sound-colour.
In the first half of the concert, the music transported us to warm and sunny locations. Dos Tropicos by Mathieu Lussier, with its lush harmonies and Latin dance rhythms, created an exotic ambiance.
Denis Plante’s Suite Piedra Libre was especially commissioned for Pentaedre. It showcased different moods of the tango from humorous and witty to deliciously melancholic.
A large suite of dances followed: Aires Tropicales by Cuban clarinettist Paquito D’Rivera. For this piece oboist Normand Forget took up an English horn, a reed instrument with an angular mouthpiece and a bell-shaped end that had a rich, warm sound, and flautist Daniele Bourget played a spell-binding solo on alto flute that commanded breathless silence in the audience. A vibrant African dance with lively rhythms and bold harmonics received extra applause.
The second half of the program was inspired by the world of the opera. Giulio Briccialdi’s Quintuor was composed for wind ensemble. It had lovely aria-like melodies and virtuoso passages for clarinet that were masterfully executed by Martin Carpentier.
Bassoonist Mathieu Lussier was also the master of ceremonies for the concert. He explained the plot of Mozart’s opera Cosi Fan Tutte in such a humorous way that he had the audience roaring with laughter. For this opera the musicians got rid of their music stands and assumed the roles of the opera singers, then coming into the audience with their instruments. What a treat to hear them from close up before they walked back on stage for the finale.
Mozart’s wonderful music was a suitable ending for an excellent concert.