Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Tea & Trumpets Series
A Musical Picnic with Friends

WHEN & WHERE June 10, 2021 at 2pm | Streamed via

Hosts Andrew Crust & Christopher Gaze

Program Vivaldi's The Four Seasons (Summer), Mozetich's Postcards from the Sky, Martinu's La Revue de Cuisine, Mozart's Allegro Assai from Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

Reviewer John Jane

As we currently experience our Spring drifting into Summer, so it seems that Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons takes an almost pedestrian like pace, the violins pick up for a thrust of celerity, before retreating again to the slow vibe that continues for most of this concerto. I had not realized until co-host Christopher Gaze recited some of the composer’s prose, that the work was originally scored to musically illustrate a set of seasonally related sonnets written by Vivaldi himself. Concertmaster Nicholas Wright led members of the string section, who were appropriately separated around the Orpheum stage. Wright’s capacity as an ensemble leader is essential for Vivaldi’s music and he achieves it with instinctive musicality.

From the best known to the least known work; Kingston, Ontario resident Marjan Mozetich is the only living composer featured in this concert’s repertoire. His Postcards from the Sky is a three-movement work for string orchestra starting with the lyrical Unfolding Sky. The first movement has the spatial quality that is Mozetich’s signature. The second movement, Weeping Clouds has a more sombre tone though just as melodic.

Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu’s La Revue de Cuisine is an excellent example of jazz mingling with classical that came out of Paris in the late twenties. Maestro Otto Tausk leads a six-piece ensemble that features clarinetist Jeanette Jonquil, Bogdan Dulu on piano and solo dancer Ralph Escamillan, who expresses the idiosyncratic absurdity of the ballet with expansive movements in the Tango and Charleston. The music has a light, sentient quality, with jazz elements perfectly fitting the story’s narrative. Ms. Jonquil bluesy clarinet is spotlighted as it opens and closes the suite.

In the final piece, Jane Coop leads a ten-piece mini orchestra from the piano in a purposeful reading of the third movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 23 in A Major. Coop’s arrangement prompts a superb Interaction between the piano and the strings and woodwinds.

This was the final concert in this season’s Tea & Trumpets Series, As enjoyable as these “virtual” concerts have been – I hope it will be the last.

© 2020 John Jane