Symphony concert a celebration of spring

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra heralded spring with style and finesse on April 9.

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra heralded spring with style and finesse on April 9.

In the words of Antonio Vivaldi himself, “Spring has arrived merrily,” thanks to the Okanagan Symphony’s most recent Masterworks concert this weekend.

The evening opened with award winning Canadian composer Alice Ping Ye Ho’s Jubilation of Spring for string orchestra and percussion.

The music was imaginative and well written, illustrating the composer’s consummate skill with orchestration.

If Ye Ho’s music is the standard to set for new Canadian Music, then this country can be proud to call her one of its own.

The next work featured Christina Hutten on harpsichord performing J.C. Bach Harpsichord Concerto No. 6.

The harpsichord is a challenging instrument to play, requiring the performer to have exact finger control to produce even sounding scales and trills.

However, from the first note from Hutten, we knew we were in good hands. Her scales shone, her trills sparkled and her interpretation was refined.  Altogether, it was like listening to a glinting chandelier.

The pièce de résistance was undoubtedly Antonio Vivaldi’s Le Quattro Stagioni, one of the most well-known and frequently performed works ever.

Featuring David Greenberg on violin, Christina Hutten once again on harpsichord and Martin Kratky on cello the music was fresh and vibrant. Greenberg literally danced his way through the four concerti, bow-tie slung rakishly to one side, clearly unable to control his enthusiasm.

Maestra Rosemary Thomson kept pace with his energy, the hectic tempo matched by Greenberg’s musical pyrotechnics and his ability to throw in his own embellishments on a whim.

The two standing ovations were more than deserved and he very graciously performed a Scottish fiddle tune as an encore.

This Four Seasons Concert was indeed an inspired choice for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, assuring us that, in Vivaldi’s words: “The joyful appearance of Spring” is indeed upon us.

 

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