Maestro  Otto Tausk

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

OriginO Kids
Carnival of the Animals 
Camille Saint-Saens  and La Revue de Cuisine   Bohuslav Martinu        

WHEN & WHERE March 7, 2021 at 2pm | Live stream at TheConcertHall.ca

Conductor Otto Tausk Guest pianists Adam Sun, Jonathan Weng Choreography FakeKnot Dancer Ralph Escamillan

Members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson


Camille Saint-Saen's little divertimento, Carnival of the Animals, never loses its ability to charm succeeding generations of children. Certainly its 14 short and vivid portraits of lions, wild donkeys, elephants, turtles and other assorted beings engaged both my young companion (well-distanced in another house) and me.

His particular favourites were 'The Cuckoo, and ''The Swan', partly because of the added extras. As a pre-concert activity, the VSO asked for children to listen to the Cuckoo movement and send in their interpretations in pictures. A slide show of these delightful pictures accompanied the music and Jeannette Jonquil's (clarinet) steady and unrelenting cuckoo's call. 'The Swan,' played with haunting beauty by cellist Henry Shapard, was also enhanced by the creation of a picture of a swan which you watched laid down line by line and colour by colour.

A further addition to the performance was some improv. dance by Ralph Escamillan. Abstract and intricate it brought yet another dimension to this array of pieces.

The two pianos were played by a pair of remarkable young artists, Adam Sun (16) and Jonathan Weng (12). While demonstrating exceptionally strong technique, they both played also with feeling and a clear sense of line and purpose.

The balance between the orchestra and the pianos was superb. In `The Aquarium' the pianos glinted over gloomy depths; they shimmered around Christie Reside's trilling flute in the darting, airy`Aviary, and matched the zylophone's mad rattle in 'Fossils.'

Otto Tausk's engaging introductions to each section were just right.

Carnival of the Animals was followed by the jazzy 1920's suite by Bohuslav Martinu, La Revue de Cuisine. By turns lively and langorous, lyrical and dancy, it reached its apogee with a spritely Charleston, causing dancer Escamillan to turn cartwheels.

2021 Elizabeth Paterson