A Swansong with a BangFriday, May 24, 2019
|Jocelyn Morlock & Rodney Sharman|
A long time ago Andrés Segovia played a concert at the Orpheum. My young daughter, not yet a teenager was studying the guitar. I took her to the concert.
When the concert was over I told her to open the door on the left, near the stage, and to go and see Segovia. This she did. Segovia explained to her(in his lovely Spanish) that he had not said a word during his concert because he had a cold and could barely speak. He gave my daughter a hug. My daughter to this day plays the guitar and is a good sight reader.
For me that my daughter was able to see the great man without any security prohibitions at the time, was somehow one of the charms of a city that was not too big for its britches.
To this day, even though our city has grown, access to musicians in classical music or new music venues, is a given.
|William Rowson - VSO Assistant Conductor|
For a while the Stalag guards at the Chan Centre prevented us from going back stage to chat with our musician friends. They have given up! And access is not denied.
What all this means is that going to concerts in Vancouver is a warm and personal endeavour where one is not separated by barriers except for that important one (for me!) where musicians can do that unfathomable task of being able to read music. But they all put on their pants, one leg at a time.
I have many friends in the musical community of the city and I have had many a privilege when going back stage for chats. One privilege I must boast about is that during a rehearsal of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra at St. James on 10th Avenue, I was allowed by violinist and then Musical Director Marc Destrubé to lie on the floor under the harpsichord for the duration.
And there was this most unusual one!
And so last Saturday, May 18 I knew I could not miss Jocelyn Morlock’s (Composer in Residence at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for five years) swan song performance at the Orpheum Annex.
The Orpheum Annex and the nearby Pyatt Hall represent the future of classical and new music in our city.
My blog on the Orpheum Annex & Pyatt Hall
These two venues are smaller and can adapt to all kinds of configuration and are ready for connection with any kind of complex electronic/digital music. The Annex has a small bar and foyer where more often than not you can hobnob with our city’s musicians.
|Composer and digital guru Keith Hamil - necessary for the performance of Korndorff's Amoroso|
On Saturday, before the concert, I was able to snap a photo (took many as the two were quite demanding) of both Morlock and a previous Composer in Residence, Rodney Sharman.
The concert featured two Sherlock compositions, Zart and Icarus, landing. It also lined up some music by a couple of composers who influenced and inspired her. One was Mozart’s Serenade No.10 for winds in B-flat Major, K. 361/370a III Adagio. The other was Nicolai Kondorf’s Amoroso. Who was to know that this Russian composer lived at one time in Burnaby and taught Morlock?
The orchestra was a small one featuring musicians from the VSO who got the short straw (they lucked out!) and did not have to play a big concert at the Chan on the same day.
One of the musicians, was a retiree from the VSO. This was harpist Elizabeth Volpé. Amoroso featured interesting and repetitive chords for her harp.
I was most happy to see my favourite VSO violinist, the dashing, lovely and redhaired Karen Gerbrecht.
Also in the orchestra was VSO violist Andrew Brown (the most handsome violist in town!).
At the interval I walked into backstage (nobody stopped me) and I had a chat with Gerbrecht.
It was explained to us that the position of Composer in Residence is not to promote the career of the composer (which probably does occur anyway) but to keep the VSO musicians on their toes with music that is brand new and may push the boundaries of musical conventions.
I am sure that after five years, Morlock wil not have any problem obtaining commissions and that both she and Sharman (born in Biggar, Saskatchewan) will go to bigger stuff.
|Morlock's signaturer footware|