QSCO Masterworks V Concert Review (but mostly Ravel)

March 5, 2017, 3:42 PM · Between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Friday, and this concert today... Everything great is happening all at once this one weekend!

This afternoon, I went to hear the QCSO play their fifth and final concert based around the river: Masterworks V: River of Life. (How fitting for the game as well!) So they had two Wagner works with a guest soprano for the latter: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey from "Götterdammerung", and the Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan und Isolde", a piece I know particularly well having studied its wandering nature and it never resolves. In between those late Romantic works was Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs" from 1948, a beautiful work that took me to another world as I listened.

And then, there was the second suite of Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe".

I was sitting with my friend at the front, on the left side of the stage right by the first violins. I had my (book) score with me and was flipping through (just like I was doing on my phone 2 and a half years ago in Chicago!) as I listened, and... well, basically I couldn't stand for a solid 5-10 minutes after it ended. This is my favourite piece of all time, and I got to hear it live in the hall, versus back in 2014 on a summer night with the crickets and things. The dawn climaxes were brilliantly done, and that final one at 168 was pure transcendence - I couldn't think, I just enjoyed the glockenspiel and celeste with the harps, the violin, flute, and clarinet birds carrying on... pure bliss and magic. And after amazing solos by the flautist(s), a nice break in the music, the big finale, my OTHER favourite part. It was a TAD too slow for my liking but honestly it didn't bother me all that much. It was thrilling and exciting especially to be sitting right in the front, hearing this music booming live in my ears. I mean, I could see what I saw in videos by the BBC Prom I watched in 2014 and the All-Star Orchestra I discovered in January 2016 live right in front of me! I could hear the bass pizzicatos more prominently, the little orchestrational things Ravel does in the lighter middle part, like the solo violin on the F# harmonic, building the winds, at 172... pure bliss, that's all I can say. It will take me some time to recover from this entire weekend... I mean, there are some great orchestral and violin moments in what I've heard of the Breath of the Wild soundtrack, but... but... Ravel!!!

Anyways. Hope you could get something out of that. It's not even an hour after the concert... about to get dinner. Excited for our first rehearsal of the new season tomorrow evening, playing first violin! Will think about that tomorrow. :)

Oh, they did mention a few cool things going on next season for the QCSO - apparently, Joshua Bell will be coming next year with Yo-Yo Ma! Very exciting - I cannot miss that! Additionally, for the holiday season they are playing along the score of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which will be neat if I see that!


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