Concert goers were treated to a hot concert as the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presented its Latin Fiesta.The evening opened with American composer Gabriela Frank’s Three Latin-American Dances.
The first movement Jungle Jaunt had driving energy and lots of varied percussion.
The second movement, often referred to as the heart of the work, took us to the misty mountains with lots of special orchestra effects. The final movement The Mestizo Waltz, drove energetically to the end in Mariachi folk-music style.
Next was Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto Pastorale for flute performed by Canadian flautist, Christie Reside. The music flew from Reside’s flute, at times bird-like and fluttering, at other times sweeping in great runs and feats of technical prowess. Reside’s playing boasted a variety of colour from rich low harmonics to a clean piccolo-like quality of high tones that danced right to the sparkling ending. After intermission, the orchestra played Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo’s piece Huapango. This work boasted sweeping violin lines over a rhythmically pulsing brass and woodwind parts. Varied percussion made this piece interesting and lively as well as the live on-stage tango dancers.
For the finale, Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, the OSO was joined by the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra in a “side by side” concert. The massed orchestra was astonishingly tight in spite of demanding scale passages and complex rhythms. The resulting tidal wave of sound was exhilarating and the audience wasted no time in surging to its feet for a standing ovation. Thus persuaded, the double orchestra played American composer Leonard Bernstein’s “Mambo” from West Side Story.