Oundjian Ode to Joy

Leslie Barcza, Barczablog

Tomorrow will be the last concert in this month-long celebration of Peter Oundjian’s tenure with the Toronto Symphony. I would have gone tomorrow but unfortunately I have to be somewhere else, and will miss that last encounter between orchestra & conductor, between Peter & his audience.

Tonight was pretty good though even if it’s but the penultimate.

We heard Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The piece is ideal for this sort of occasion, an instant happening. For three movements the orchestra plays while a crowd of brooding faces watch and listen from the stage. It was almost like three different symphonies, totally unlike one another, each in the presence of the 150 formally attired singers of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, waiting their turn. The dissonance that opens the last movement might almost sum up the shock we feel when oh my they’re standing up, perfectly synchronized.

Something is going to happen!  Of course it won’t be a surprise when they also sing in perfect synchronization.

And –to quote Anna Russell—if Beethoven doesn’t tell the whole story, all over again (admittedly in miniature).

It’s quite a drama, with the conductor at the centre.

Read the full review.