Friday, 21 August 2015

Play on! Week Two of the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival

I don't think there was single person in the audience last night, at the Brilliance of Beethoven, that wasn't blown away by the powerhouse playing of the Ariel Quartet.  Some were in tears.  Others were sighing words like "exquisite".  The least enthusiastic comment I overheard was "It was like listening to one instrument!"  Everyone it seemed was grateful for the opportunity to crawl up inside those long serene passages, especially those more accustomed to the tempestuous Beethoven favourites. 

As impressive as the playing was of the Ariel Quartet and Duo Concertante, it did not blot out the sparkle of the young artists earlier in the day.  Through out the Tuckamore Festival we have been treated to the offerings of the young artists.  It has been engaging to see them in various roles: working with a mentor in masterclasses, accompanying their colleagues, as soloists and in ensemble arrangements.  And let's not forget the young composers, who added invention to our existing menu of interpretation.  It makes for a multi-dimensional experience for both them and us–the audience.

We can look forward to both a masterclass and
grand performance by pianist Janina Fialkowska.

It is evident that the young artists are a bright, hard working and capable bunch that could well go on to do many things in life.  But it is also clear that some are simply meant to play music or as one appreciative member of the audience commented to me with gusto, "they play music like it matters!"  With twenty-two young artists participating this year it is impossible to mention them all; so here are a few standouts.  On violin Nic Carlucci from Ontario fills the impressive category while Amelie Roberts from Winnipeg fills the expressive category and importantly she does so without much fuss.  It intrigued me that Amanda Manmohan, violin, from Westmoorings, Trinidad and Tabago, followed her degree in Psychology with a BFA in music rather than the more customary other way round.  On cello it was gratifying to watch a pixie-like Conor Britt from New Brunswick produce a surprisingly mature and somber Fauré elegy meanwhile Peter Ko from Carlsbad, CA consistently immersed himself in whatever he was playing and swept audiences away in the process.  On piano Demetry Prezelj from Nova Scotia succeeded in communicating his deep love for romantic and classical music persuading us to watch for him in the future.

All of this feeds our anticipation for the concluding days of the Tuckamore Festival.  We still have the beatific Janina Fialkowska to look forward to and a resounding Festival Finale with the Young Artists.  Play on!

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