blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Concerts for young people in Ottawa and Cardiff

It's a recurrent theme in my blog: I love to see youth being exposed to and responding to classical music, or performing it. There should be more of this.

Sunday April 27th I attended a concert at St. Brigid's given by the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, during which young people not only filled the stage but were numerous in the audience too. The standard of attainment demonstrated was very high, presumably due to the efforts and skills of their conductor, John Gomez. Their programme was

  • Weber's Bassoon Concerto, the solo part performed by a member of the orchestra
  • Brahms' lively Academic Festival Overture,
  • Four Cornish Dances by Sir Malcolm Arnold
  • Elgar's Cello Concerto (again, a member of the orchestra was the soloist––both the bassoonist and the 'cellist played from memory––what a feat!)
  • the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss
  • Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave

The following week, having got the idea from the concert programme, I shared an article about Johann Strauss and his famous waltz with my German conversation group.

Later, while in Wales, I went with my mother for lunch and the Friday lunchtime concert (May 9th) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the Castle Grounds of Cathays Park, Cardiff, by the River Taff, an attractive place in all respects. The Cardiff Winds were on stage in the Dora Stoutzker Hall, not young people themselves, but an ensemble of tutors and professional section leaders in various British orchestras. The audience mainly consisted of their students or potential students, and other young people (string players) had been playing solos in the foyer before the concert, sonatas with piano accompaniment. On the concert programme were three very enjoyable items by composers of the same generation:

I counted the variations off on my fingers and came to the right total.

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