I Musici Chamber Orchestra’s
Distant Light

An exploration worth a prolonged visa

By Luc Archambault

On February 24, I Musici de Montréal, the famed chamber orchestra, warmed the hearts of everyone lucky enough to be present at their latest concert entitled Distant Light. On the program, three pieces: Elegy for Strings in G Major, by Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski, Tola Gaisma (Distant Light), by Peteris Vasks, and String Quartet no. 2 in A Major, op. 68, by Dmitri Chostakovitch. The first two were unknown to the author. The Tchaïkovski was, well, typical Tchaïkovski: expressive, highly lyrical, with strong violin parts.

The second piece, Tola Gaisma, with soloist Vadim Gluzman at the violin, was a truly profound tsunami. Written by Peteri Vasks, a Latvian composer with a deep concern for the environment, this “distant light” goes deep and, with changing tempi, illustrates the ongoing struggle between folk and modern life, between man-made and natural environments, between chaos and order. And Gluzman’s violin mastery seems like a real devilish bet, with amplitude and precision, with a strong voice and pitch. He is truly a great master, a first rate guest to I Musici.

Chostakovitch’s String Quartet is a lot surer bet. Well known for its length and its breath, its energy and vigour, it was played to perfection, to the full orchestral version, as arranged by maestro Zeitouni.

I Musici has only one concert left to this remarkable season. It will take hold of Bourgie Hall next May 18, and will focus on Marc Chagall, as the exhibit on this Russian painter opens at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Works by Prokofiev, Stravinski and Bloch, among others, will serve as musical reminders of Chagall’s cultural roots. Not to be missed!

Images : I Musici de Montréal

Luc Archambault

Luc Archambault
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.


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