FIRE and ICE: The Orchestre Classique de Montreal Concludes their 83rd Season in Grandiose manner at La Maison Symphonique!
“To the warm skinned it is hard to distinguish between the scorch of fire and frost..Both are burning reminders of our own will and creative power.”
Tuesday marked the highly anticipated benefit gala, charity auction and closing concert of L’Orchestre Classique de Montreal’s annual season, held at Montreal’s magnificent Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts.
Renowned guest conductor Alain Trudel led the orchestra in a captivating double program with majestic elemental qualities entitled “Le Feu et la Glace,” (Fire and Ice), that featured the works of esteemed composers Maxime Goulet ( Ice Storm Symphony ) and Carl Orff ‘s majestic (Carmina Burana).
The evening commenced with the world premiere of Quebec composer Maxime Goulet’s Ice Storm Symphony which commemorated the 25th anniversary since the North American Ice Storm of 1998.
Goulet’s intricate and emotive piece enraptured the audience, setting the stage for a mesmerizing musical journey in four movements.(Torment, Warmth, Darkness and Light)
The composition begins with the haunting but gentle pattering of ice pellets that announces the storm that is brewing …
As the music progresses, the orchestra’s intensity grows, mirroring the escalating ferocity of the ice storm. Strings tremble, percussion crashes like thunder, and winds howl in a chilling harmony. The composition masterfully conveys the overwhelming power and destructive force of nature, leaving listeners captivated by its sheer magnitude.
In the second movement ” Warmth” , cherished memories of nostalgic evenings spent with electricity-endowed relatives, sitting in front of a fireplace and seeing neighbors and families coming together are accentuated by the lively beats of Quebec “rigodon” led with gusto by concertmaster Marc Djokic.
in “Darkness“, the house lights are dimmed in tribute to all those who perished during the storm. The brilliant cellist Chloé Dominguez performed a moving cello solo in homage to OCM’s former maestro Boris Brott’s talented cellist mother, who passed away during the storm.
In the final movement “Light“, The Maison Symphonique is flooded with spotlights in a grandiose finale with captivating melodies and evocative harmonies, that invites listeners to reflect upon the resilience that emerged from the darkest of times.
Maxime Goulet’s glorious musical tribute to the 1998 Ice Storm, stands as a testament to the power of art in conveying the human experience.
The Ice Storm Symphony was commissioned jointly by five orchestras – The OCM, the Laval Symphony Orchestra, Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra, Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston’s ROCO Orchestra.
It had also been recorded by the OCM under the ATMA Classique label (featured above), led by the ensemble’s newly appointed Artistic Director, Jacques Lacombe.
However, this performance marked the first time the symphony was performed in its entirety to a live audience.
The second part of the program was devoted to the iconic Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, a monumental work celebrated for its powerful choruses and grand orchestral arrangements.
The Choeur de Laval (chef: Dany Wiseman), les Petits chanteurs du Mont-Royal (artistic director Andrew Gray) and three soloists : Antoine Bélanger, Aline Kutan et Hugo Laporte, brought their skills together under maestro Trudel’s masterful direction.
Together they delivered a breathtaking rendition of this timeless masterpiece, a fiery cantata based on medieval poems of satire, corporeal pleasure, and the vicissitudes of luck.
The closing concert marked not only the end of a remarkable season but also signaled a new chapter for the Orchestre Classique de Montreal. Following the unfortunate passing of maestro Boris Brott last year, the orchestra underwent a transitional phase, navigating the 2022-23 season as a tribute to Brott’s enduring legacy.
As the 84th season dawns upon us, the future of the OCM shines bright under the capable guidance of maestro Lacombe. Despite his demanding international commitments, Lacombe has officially assumed the role of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, ensuring the continuation of the symphony’s artistic excellence and captivating performances.
With the conclusion of this exceptional concert and the appointment of a new visionary leader, the Orchestre Classique de Montreal embarks on a new era, poised to captivate audiences and further enrich the city’s vibrant cultural landscape.
As the OCM embarks on its 84th season, music enthusiasts can anticipate captivating performances and innovative programming.
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Description The evening will feature the haunting music of the absolute master of tango, Astor Piazzolla, with violinist Marc Djokic as soloist. Added to this are the most famous pages of Italian film music by Nino Rota, including The Godfather, Romeo and Juliet and La Strada.
In the program :
Nino Rota: Concerto per archi
Nino Rota: Film music: The Godfather, La Strada, Romeo and Juliet (arrangements by Jacques Lacombe)