Julia Lockhart – bassoon

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
VSO@Home No.7

Date August 1, 2020 at 7:30pm | Pyatt Hall and other locations

Featured musicians Nicholas Wright, Jennie Press & Karen Gerbrecht - violin, Grace Huang - piano, James Romero & Rosanne Weiringa – piccolo, Larry Knopp & Vincent Vohradsky – Trumpet, Brian Wendel, Andrew Poirier & Angus Armstrong – trombone, Ilan Morgenstern – bass trombone, Dave Brown & Malcolm Armstrong – bass, Vern Griffiths & Michael Jarrett – percussion, Michelle Goddard & Jeanette Jonquil – clarinet, Julia Lockhart – bassoon.

Program Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova; George Gershwin’s Summertime; Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies; Lew Pollack’s That’s A Plenty; Fritz Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin, Nigel Hess’ Ladies in Lavender.

Reviewer John Jane

This is already the seventh streaming event in the VSO@Home mini-concert series that uses both communications technology and live studio performance. It’s turned out to be a popular music performance format that has allowed members of the VSO to play for an audience while public performances have been restricted due to the current corona virus pandemic. Maestro Otto Tausk once again provides an introduction from The Netherlands.

But even before Maestro Tausk’s welcoming words from his homeland, a group of nine VSO musicians, plus some of their talented offspring who have no problem performing in front of the camera, virtually come together with a ZOOM musical meeting of a cheerful and impeccably synchronized performance of the instantly recognizable Soul Bossa Nova. It may not be among Quincy Jones’ more substantial compositions, but it’s certainly loads of fun. Canadian comedian Mike Myers obviously thought so, since he included a version of it in his Austin Powers films.

Bassoonist Julia Lockhart and Roger (the parrot) introduce a couple of show tunes that have become jazz standards: Gershwin’s moody Summertime from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess and Berlin’s optimistic Blue Skies from the short-lived stage musical Betsy. Lockhart is joined in Pyatt Hall by Jennie Press, Karen Gerbrecht, Vern Griffiths & Malcolm Armstrong.

That's a Plenty is a 1914 ragtime piano composition by Lew Pollack. Angus Armstrong gives it a Dixieland treatment that works really well with the combo that includes his son, VSO bassist Malcolm Armstrong and features a pleasing clarinet solo by Michelle Goddard.

Schön Rosmarin (Lovely Rosemary) is one of a set of three short pieces that comprise Old Viennese Melodies written by Fritz Kreisler. Performed with sublime warmth by concertmaster Nicholas Wright and accompanist Grace Huang, it aptly fits Meastro Tausk’s descrption of being evocative of a stroll through a summer garden.

The final piece is Nigel Hess’ Ladies in Lavender from the original theme from the film of the same name for which Hess received a Classical BRIT Awards nomination for Best Soundtrack Composition. Violin Nicholas Wright and pianist Grace Huang are on the mark at every turn. The music throughout is quite melancholic and characterizes the film’s sentimental motif.

© 2020 John Jane