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Ottawa Symphony Orchestra presents Symphonic Spectacular “Big Guns” of War, Death and Transfiguration

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra presents Symphonic Spectacular
“Big Guns” of War, Death and Transfiguration Let Loose with Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Strauss

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra in its ever non-shrinking violet stance presents Symphonic Spectacular on Monday, November 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Carleton Dominion Chalmers Centre with guest conductor Jean-Francois Rivest (Artistic Director, Faculty of Music, University of Montreal) and guest violinist Nikki Chooi.

The evening’s powerful repertoire includes Victor Herbiet (Ottawa-based, Canadian composer) Sur les berges du Saint-Laurent (World Premiere); Jean Sibelius, Violin Concerto; Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture; and Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration.

Herbiet’s works have been described as “audacious, virtuosic, bewitching and magnificent”, fitting in well with the theme of this concert. It will be interesting to see what this maestro on the saxophone has conjured up with Sur les berges du Saint-Laurent.

The Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, was written by Jean Sibelius in 1904 and revised in 1905. It is his only concerto. It is symphonic in scope, with the solo violin and all sections of the orchestra manifesting as equal voices. Think of visiting the dark, crisp landscape of Finland (or Northern Ontario?) as Chooi performs the demanding and emotionally titulating Concerto.

The 1812 Overture, composed by Peter Tchaikovsky, is the most widely recognized piece of classical music. It was written to commemorate Russia’s victory in the Napoleonic War of 1812. The French defeat here marked the beginning of the long and disastrous retreat which destroyed Napoleon and his army. The orchestra compels the audience to feel the music’s intense emotions as it performs the celebratory War March with cannons (simulated!) and fireworks (evoked).

Richard Strauss’ symphonic tone poem, Death and Transfiguration, written for his artist friend, Friedrich Rosch, might imply a morbidity that would turn off the listening ear but in fact the music soars with poignant majesty and inspiration. The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra takes listeners on a dramatic musical life path from beginning to end ably reflecting the largess of life through the richness of its symphonic sound.

Guest violinist Nikki Chooi has been described as “vigorous, colorful” by the New York Times. He has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. At this concert, he takes on one of the most technically challenging works of the solo violin repertoire with Sibelius’ composition. He’s paired superbly with guest conductor Jean-Francois Rivest, himself a distinguished violinist, and acclaimed for his energy, precise technique and passionate style on the podium.

For tickets to Symphonic Spectacular where the rich, big sound of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra will be on full display, visit Call 613.231.7802 or contact as well.


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