Pentaèdre and Lysandre Ménard
in concert at Bourgie Hall
Sonic dynamite as part of the 2nd Palazzetto Bru Zane Montreal Festival
By Luc Archambault
May 1, 2021
To say that I wasn’t expecting much from this concert, presented at Bourgie Hall on Wednesday, April 14th, would hardly express what I was feeling at that moment. Some Saint-Saëns works written at the dawn of his agony, a penultimate exploration of wind instruments, those unloved by numerous composers. He only had time to compose sonatas for oboe (op. 166), clarinet (op. 167), and bassoon (op. 168).
To respond to the sound geometry of the musical group Pentaèdre (Ariane Brisson, Élise Poulin, Martin Carpentier, Mathieu Lussier, and Louis-Philippe Marsolais), this concert saw fit to add a romance for flute (op. 37) and a piece for horn and piano (op. 94). Combined with the infallible play of pianist Lysandre Ménard, this concert therefore pleasantly surprised me.
No one is born a stage artist. And bassist Mathieu Lussier illustrates this brilliantly. From the outset, he presented his instrument and his portion of the concert with exquisite boasting. Is it surprising that he is also the artistic director of the Arion Baroque Ensemble?
The only negative note of this concert: his playing partners would have done well to emulate his presentation. Because this liveliness is a bit what the Montreal classic scene lacks. It’s not for the sake of clowning around, but a little extra spark would bring the music, this incredible music, and concertante performances, out of the rigor of a foregone age.
And the pianist Lysandre Ménard, like a majestic mermaid, whose career is definitely to be followed, already prized internationally (Carnegie Hall in 2011, concerts around the US, in Spain, Austria, and Germany), and also active in the alternative music scene… a lot of talent between these goddess’s fingers…
What about the Palazzetto Bru Zane… this center, dedicated to the rediscovery and diffusion of French musical heritage over the period from 1780 to 1920, located in Venice in an old palace, restored and inaugurated in 2009. It makes available digital resources at bruzanemediabase.com, recordings of concerts at bru-zane.com/replay (unfortunately not this particular concert), as well as the production and publication of recordings under the Bru Zane label, and also owns a web radio, Bru Zane Classical Radio, broadcasting continuously (24/7).
I’ve had my lesson. Never underestimate the concerts offered at Bourgie Hall. It is truly a temple of excellence.
Images: Courtesy of Pentaèdre and Lysandre Ménard
Read about other concerts and music events
Bourgie Hall, the concert hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, is located in the restored Erskine and American Heritage Church. Designated in 1998 as a “Historic Site of National Interest”, the metamorphosed venue now boasts outstanding acoustics and an exceptional decor, including twenty historic Tiffany stained glass windows. Perfectly suited to the needs of chamber music ensembles and other groups such as string orchestras, the Bourgie Hall offers music lovers musical experiences that reflect the encyclopedic diversity of the MMFA. bourgie-hall/
Luc Archambault, writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal from an extensive stay in China to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.