The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra performed Exsultate, a live-streamed all-Mozart concert, at the Kelowna Community Theatre on April 10. (Contributed)

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra performed Exsultate, a live-streamed all-Mozart concert, at the Kelowna Community Theatre on April 10. (Contributed)

REVIEW: Okanagan Symphony Orchestra exalts in Mozart

Live-streamed, all-Mozart concert was held on April 10

By Anita Perry

After a year of isolation, it was with tremendous joy and exultation that the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra performed Exsultate, a live-streamed all-Mozart concert on Saturday April 10 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

While physical attendance was by invitation only (12 enthusiastic, masked and amply separated concertgoers augmented by 70-plus cardboard cutouts) the event was live-streamed by Unicorns.live.

The concert opened with the overture to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ninth opera, La Finta Giardiniera (the Fake Gardener.) For all the distance between musicians, the ensemble was tight and the balance impeccable. A rising melodic line in the strings gave this sunny, light-hearted music a sense of taking wing — spring painted in sound.

READ ALSO: Enjoy Okanagan Symphony Orchestra from the comfort of home

READ ALSO: Okanagan Symphony launches new season amid COVID-19

Great care was taken to effortlessly execute ornaments, soften phrase ends and taper cadences. Frothy and festive, it was the perfect opener for a chill spring evening.

The next work was Exsultate jubilate, a religious work for solo vocalist and orchestra in four movements. From the very first movement, Allegro, guest soprano Kelly Courbrough’s sweet, liquid tones echoed through the hall, capturing the positive and graceful character of the music. The cadenza was a particular delight as Courbrough executed the runs with enthusiasm and precision.

The second movement, Recitative, was delivered with earnest attention to the text as Courbrough’s tone became appropriately somber.

Glorious sound and tonal control from Courbrough gave the third movement, Andante, the tranquil flow required.

The light and optimistic last movement, Allegro, was beautifully performed with just enough decorum to keep the joy carefully under control. Courbrough’s scales, trills and ornaments were joyful and effortless.

Throughout this 15-minute work, Maestra Rosemary Thomson kept both orchestra and soloist unified, despite the challenging physical distance separating everyone.

The final work of the evening was Mozart’s effervescent Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K 201. Written when he was just 18 years old, this work is so perfectly constructed it could serve as a template for symphonic compositions today.

The first movement, Allegro, sparkled with brilliant energy and constant motion.

The second movement, Andante in D major, was graceful and sedate. Clarity of musical intention marked the performance of this section with careful attention to delicately executed phrase ends.

The third movement, Menuetto, was boisterous, driven by energetic rhythms and staccato phrases. Playing precise dotted rhythms can be challenging, but Thomson rose capably to the occasion, easily keeping the orchestra unified.

The sparkling last movement, Allegro con spirito, was unabashedly joyous in iconic Mozart fashion. The ensemble was amazingly tight as the orchestra roared through fiery, yet flawlessly-controlled 16th-note passages. The music galloped and cavorted right up to the last well-placed cadence.

In this dreary, wearying time, the brilliance of Mozart was a welcome diversion. Thomson and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra provided a heart-lifting ray of light.

To participate in the live stream of the OSO’s next concert, New Beginnings, visit https://okanagansymphony.com/2021-season/ for information on how to tune in.

Anita Perry is a Summerland music teacher.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Classical musicEntertainmentMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (google maps)
More potential exposures dates added to Keremeos school by Interior Health

The entire school week from April 26 to 30 now had a potential exposure

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Jason Townsend wearing his Kelowna Hells Angels prospect patches. (Jason Townsend/Facebook)
Crown stays domestic assault charges against Kelowna Hells Angels prospect

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged in August 2020 with assault and assault by choking

Most Read