CRITICAL / Combining Bruckner’s colossal and contrasting “Symphony No. 4” and Schumann’s “Cello Concerto” in the same program produces a concert with vivid contrasts, moving from the finest sweetness to the most flamboyant cascades . Judiciously led by the baton of his captain Fabien Gabel, the Orchester symphonique de Québec arrived safely, avoiding the traps of the journey.
The pièce de résistance, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 , in E flat major, “Romantic” version 1880 (it must be made clear that the composer liked to put his work back on the trade) was served after intermission.
The feverish rumbling of the strings and the resounding call of a horn transport us quickly to the heart of a medieval city surrounded by an enchanted forest. The alternation between the crystalline tunes – worn with agility by the flutist Jacinthe Forand – and the inflamed surges of brass (hat hornist Levente Varga) keeps us on the lookout.
Bucolic rompers, epic races, chase, pursuit, roaring threat … The music lover’s imagination can run at full speed to knit the most exciting story of adventure. There are obviously moments of calm, floating, evanescent, where even the brass, muffled, seem softly resounding from a distant country. A musical experience that had nothing to envy to a thrilling saga of knights.
Cradled by Isang Enders
The first part, dedicated to Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor , allowed the OSQ to take on the air of a chamber orchestra.
The strings and some wind instruments played smoothly and with finesse with the soloist Isang Enders. The German musician is in his thirties, but already has ten years of experience as a solo cellist at the Staatskapelle Dresden. Although he was rather oblivious, allowing himself only a vague smile during a more fiery moment, he admirably had his instrument sung, with well-supported bass and vivid bow strokes. He received a standing ovation from spectators on a fairly bald parterre on this Wednesday in March.
We will remember the soft, silky, carefully modulated by Fabien Gabel who, a finger on the lips, sometimes incited his musicians to graze the silence. A segment of a delicious dreamy languor, supported by pizzicatos, in the second movement, was particularly sublime.