September 2020 Update on Live Performances and Events at the NAC.

Tchaikovsky no. 5 — rich, powerful and unstoppable

Maggie from the Monster Factory takes in the view of the concert hall from the stage. © photo: Marjolaine Fournier

As we wait for the train that will take us to Ghuangzhou, I've been thinking: isn't it just amazing what a concert hall can become.. Last night, doors closed, stage packed with our two bands and the beautifully emerald green seats all filled with the local audience, I thought: we could be anywhere. Step outside, it's Bonn, it's Mexico, it's Ottawa.

Every concert is unique, every venue also - don't get me wrong. But once the doors are closed and the concert starts, it's just us: This group, and this unique night. The strings...The STRINGS!! They were of a power and richness that I'd never heard before anywhere - the long phrases of the Tchaikovsky just washed over everything from stage right to left - rich, powerful and unstoppable. The doubled winds were perfectly in tune, thought they'd only met for the first time that afternoon. In fact I didn't know that they were doubling that extensively until after the concert..

The night's audience, also unique, was expecting something good, but certainly never expecting the rush of energy and power, real collaboration, that came from the stage. I expected a good concert. I knew my tunes, was as rested as I could be at this point in the tour, I knew my colleagues were too. I never saw it coming. It was stunning. I was carried along and knew that I'd played with all of my energy only because my hands hurt after the last note.

These joint concerts are always fun...but not always musically satisfying. That one audience, that one night, witnessed something extraordinary. As they stepped out into the night afterwards, they must have been thinking: how about that! But you had to be there.

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