In this weekend’s edition of Montreal’s Le Devoir, Alexander Shelley speaks in depth with Christophe Huss about the current Covvid-19 crisis and its implications for the classical music industry.
Pour la première fois depuis la nomination de son nouveau directeur musical, Alexander Shelley, l’Orchestre du Centre national des arts est l’invité de l’OSM.
Vivian Fung’s Earworms received its world premiere. Next came Boris Giltburg’s fast-talking rendition of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. After the intermission, Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 provided a more serious, expansive contrast to the lively chatter of the first half.
The world premiere of Walter Boudreau’s Concerto de l’asile, written for pianist Alain Lefèvre, took place in 2013 with the Montreal Symphony. Reviews of the evening describe how the hapless French guest conductor botched the opening so badly he had to bring the performance to a screeching halt after a few minutes, mumble an apology, and then start again.
With such an inauspicious debut, it’s not surprising that Lefèvre and Boudreau candidly stated in their pre-concert chat that as far as they were concerned, Tuesday’s performance with Alexander Shelley and NACO was the concerto’s “real” premiere.
“I do remember some children walking by, not to say they had some greater sense of art, but at least they seemed to wonder what the heck was going on.”
Who could have predicted that an experiment in aesthetics by The Washington Post would inspire a Pulitzer Prize, a picture book and, most recently, an orchestral suite?