Music For The Best Of All Possible WorldsSunday, April 19, 2015
|Owen Underhill (with Lauri Stallings) Alexander Weimann, Bramwell Tovey|
"It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles; therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings; accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles; therefore my lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten; therefore we eat pork all year round. And they who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best."
Master Pangloss – Candide – Votaire
One could on the same vein remark that nothing beats listening to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra playing Mozart’s Symphony #40 K. 550 in G minor directed by Bramwell Tovey at the Orpheum.
Others would assert that the upcoming Portland Baroque Orchestra, with Monica Huggett on solo violin and directing, concert at the Chan on May 1st featuring Antonio Vivaldi’s Opus 8 Four Seasons would be better with no comparison needed.
And a smaller group, Vancouver’s Petit Avant-garde (I have coined this expression!) would state simply that nothing beats brand new compositions of this century as performed by the Turning Point Ensemble under the artistic direction of Owen Underhill.
Of late Early Music Vancouver ensembles (some quite small), the Vancouver Symphony and the Turning Point Ensemble have been playing in smaller venues such as Pyatt Hall, the Telus Theatre at the Chan or the black box (where you are safe from atomic holocaust but your cell phone will not work) at SFU Woodwards.
If you noticed carefully you might find musicians, the same ones playing in all three orchestras plus others such as Colin MacDonald’s Pocket Orchestra or the Microcosmos Quartet (which specializes, so far, in Bártok, Britten and brand new composers, some in their early 20s).
If you happen to like jazz you may have not known or missed Turning Point Ensemble’s 2012 concert featuring the music of DukeEllington.
On my best of all possible worlds wish list would be a concert in which a group of musicians directed by Bramwell Tovey, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s Alexander Weimann and Owen Underhill would each play the music of those groups in one evening here in Vancouver.
The concert could have the VSO (a smaller group) playing a Bach Brandenburg Concerto. If it were the fifth Alexander Weimann could play the harpsichord. The Pacific Baroque Orchestra might play music by a composer preceding Bach such as Heinrich Ignaz von Bieber. Turning Point Ensemble might play the Bachianas Brasileiras (any of them) by Heitor Villalobos.
I know that I would enjoy all three performances. In the best of all possible worlds surely there are more people like me out there?