Jacques Lacombe conducted the Orchester symphonique de Montréal in the second concert of the Festival de Lanaudière on Saturday evening, an evening concluded by the 5e Symphony by Beethoven, again crowned with great popular success.

In the program initially published, the concert of Jacques Lacombe was to be the inaugural evening of the Festival de Lanaudière 2021. By announcing on July 5 the presence, the day before, of Kent Nagano, the organizers avoided that the return of the former musical director does not swallow up the concert of the Quebec conductor. The two evenings were therefore full, which, with health standards, represents at least 1,500 people on the site.

Smart program

In a preamble this time exemplarily succinct, the artistic director, Renaud Loranger, who extended the word of welcome from the director Xavier Roy, tactfully thanked Jacques Lacombe for his involvement and his first presence at the festival after 17 years. We would have just quickly added, since there are no program notes (except in Bourgie) in these pandemic times, the key to the luminous aesthetic purpose: Leonore III of Fidelio by Beethoven, sequestration-liberation opera; the Metamorphosis of Strauss a sort of “hamster in a musical cage” on doubt, overwhelm, the return to oneself and, in ultimate redemption, the 5e of Beethoven as an allegory of the triumph of human genius.

It was once again fascinating to perceive the attention of the public, even in the Metamorphosis, a complex work for 23 strings, programmed all over the place during the “1re pandemic wave ”as orchestras searched for works to play with a distance of 2 meters. We particularly remember this overwhelming first concert in Paris, in June 2020, conducted by Kent Nagano at Radio France which had all the subtle smooth flexibility in the passages of melodies and attacks between the voices and which exacerbated the phenomena of swells and surf. The concert is accessible on YouTube by way of comparison with the solid but not very simmering and moderately moving performance on Saturday.

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A need

The Beethoven part was more convincing. The amphitheater lent itself particularly well to the trumpet call off stage signifying the liberation of Florestan, by the courageous and frenzied commitment of his wife, Leonore. The fever and jubilation of their love is celebrated in the final runaway of the opening. The work was a pleasure to hear under the circumstances, as was the 5e Symphony, which Jacques Lacombe had conducted in the “concert for transistors” (and horns) at the airport parking lot, an idea that seems lucrative for the OSM. Happy, therefore, to hear “in real” this version without flaws in logic, with a 2e part of the very judicious time (rather going) and the transition to Finale made effective and slamming by the dry chopsticks of the timpanist.

More than a concert in particular, it is more the two evenings (Kent Nagano’s concert was commented on our digital platforms from Saturday) and the meeting between the music and the audience that we retain. Is this the “living” offer of the OSM since the end of March, reduced to a reunion concert conducted by the assistant conductor, an (excellent) evening for strings of the genre I Expanded Musici, version II of the “concert for transistors? »In the cars and an accompaniment of strumming, which had frustrated the amateurs? Or the present moment which lent itself to it particularly?

In any case, Lanaudière 2021, by being able to accommodate 1,500 spectators, has a very special place and importance in the revival of the living music ecosystem.

COVOD-19 takes Graham Vick

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