Soothing Mozart, impressive Tristan

Soothing Mozart, impressive Tristan

For the first time, the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra welcomed the Sherbrooke pianist Tristan Longval-Gagné as a soloist during its Sunday afternoon concert dedicated to Mozart. The performance was sold out for the occasion, that is to say 250 spectators, at the Maurice-O'Bready room.

Share November 9, 2020 7:05 am Share Soothing Mozart, impressive TristanSoothing Mozart, impressive Tristan

Steve Bergeron La Tribune CRITIQUE / What a soothing morning the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra (OSS) and its conductor Stéphane Laforest offered on Sunday! It must be said that they had chosen Mozart, the perfect composer for the occasion, and his very popular Symphony No. 40 . Add a healthy Sherbrooke pianist, Tristan Longval-Gagné, invited for the very first time by the OSS as a soloist. Something to delight music lovers … and a maestro.

“It's so stimulating to see you again …”, moreover immediately addressed the conductor to the audience, before adding “… in addition to the election of Biden”, sparking laughter. We actually felt all the pleasure of Stéphane Laforest to find himself in front of a live audience, something which has become rare these days. Just like his pride in having a musician from Sherbrooke as a distinguished guest.

And he must not have regretted his choice: Tristan Longval-Gagné impeccably delivered Piano Concerto No. 12 by the Salzburg prodigy, proving that, even if his favorite repertoire consists mainly of works from the 20th and 21st century, it can easily slip into another musical era and adapt to what it demands – here the technique, purity and restraint that Mozart demands.

And everything seemed so easy for the musician, in this profusion of crystalline notes, swift trills, appoggiatures and gruppettos. From this ultra-ornamented music in which we can already hear Beethoven, Tristan Longval-Gagné has made the best of it, notably in the insane cadence of the first movement, which flowed like a cascading stream, the notes all well detached. In the middle of this fluidity of the fingering, barely a half of a key hooked in the passage, so brief that most will not have heard it. And as Maestro Laforest is a conductor who likes extremes, the chosen tempo was one of the fastest allowed by allegro . The soloist got all the more credit for it.

Nor did Tristan Longval-Gagné fear the obligatory meditation and the necessary silences imposed by the slow movement ( Andante ), which was played at the limit of the lento (the contrast with the previous movement was only stronger). The pianist respected Mozart's destitution, even deeper in this passage inspired by a deceased friend and mentor (Jean-Chrétien Bach, son of Jean-Sébastien).

Even though there were only 250 people in the Maurice-O'Bready room, a warm ovation rose from the audience to greet the interpreter, once the last note was played.

Remarkable unit

But the musicians also deserve to be warmly applauded, they who have shown a remarkable unity despite the distance they must respect between them and the acoustics modified by the fact that the audience is smaller. The docking went very well, in their own ranks as with the soloist. It must be said that they too often had a lot to do, Mozart not having spared the strings in matters of ornamentation, notably in the opening of the Symphony in D major .

From Symphony No. 40 , we will retain the impeccable interpretation of the first movement, all the necessary gallantry infused into the second and the perfect delivery of latent anger in the Allegro assai final.

Chef Stéphane Laforest took the opportunity to announce an additional at the Christmas concert with Marc Hervieux, tickets having sold out in barely thirty hours. The official announcement is expected to be made on Tuesday.

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