Monday, October 27, 2014

The Orchestre Lyrique de Montréal - a new orchestra worth checking out

I always find it exciting to hear a newly-formed music ensemble, and I'm fortunate to have attended the Orchestre Lyrique de Montréal's first concert on October 23, 2014.

The concert began with Schubert's "An Die Musik," in an orchestration by Arthur Luck, conducted by Simon Rivard and sung by Aline Kutan. This tribute to the power of music was a fitting opening to the concert.

Mozart's familiar "Exsultate, jubilate" was the next piece on the program, conducted by Ben Kepes. The Andante was particularly moving and beautiful. I got chills during Aline Kutan's final phrase at the end of the last movement.

Mozart's Piano Concerto in D Minor followed, with Ben Kepes conducting and Olivier Godin as soloist. I found that the peppy bassoon lines in the first movement were admirably played, and in the second movement, the harmonies in the horns were pleasing. The musicians captured the fiery spirit of the last movement very well. The cadenzas used in this performance were by Raoul Sosa, and Olivier Godin was good at bringing out their varied moods.

The last piece on the program was Mahler's 4th Symphony, with Aline Kutan as soloist in the final movement. Simon Rivard took us on a thrilling ride through the symphony, bringing out the wide variety of orchestral tone colour. Mahler's 4th is a symphony with much to offer, and all the musicians gave an excellent performance of it.

I'm impressed that we have enough great musicians in Montreal to make up a whole new orchestra. The Orchestre Lyrique de Montréal is well worth hearing.

Check out their website here. Information on upcoming concerts here.

--Emily Gray