Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky Ballet Music

Dates and Venue 20 & 22 October 2012, 8pm | Orpheum Theatre

Conductor Bramwell Tovey

Programme Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty: Act 2, Complete & Swan Lake: Symphonic Portrait

Reviewer Michael Pink

The VSO performance of Tchaikovsky great ballet works Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake was stimulating, enchanting and elegant. In the introductory remarks, distinguished conductor Bramwell Tovey noted that the Orpheum is a unique acoustic treasure for symphonic music and thus well suited for the soaring works of Tchaikovsky.

Among the stellar sounds from Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act Two, Complete were No. 10 Entr’acte et Scene; No. 12 Scene; Danse de duchesses; Danse de comtesses; Scene d’ Aurore et de Desire and Variation d’Aurore.

Tovey has a strong command of the stage and a delicate way of bringing forth great classical music. His classical pedigree is stellar. Tovey is a Grammy award-winning conductor who has conducted around the world. In 2008, he composed the well-received Urban Runway, which has been commissioned by several North American orchestras. He is also the recipient of several honorary degrees and a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

The second piece in the illustrious evening featured Swan Lake, OP. 20. It was a collection selected by Tovey of emotionally moving symphonic ballet music. The full house at the ornate Orpheum Theatre barely stirred during the entire evening, such was the enjoyment of the delightful repertoire.

As always the VSO performed admirably. One has to pay tribute to the musical artists of the orchestra whose names do not receive their due attention. Without their incredible talent and dedication to classical music, these performances would simply not inspire.

Some of the artists include: Dale Barltrop, First Violin and Concertmaster; Neil Miskey, Principal Viola; Roger Cole, Principal Oboe; Beth Orson, English Horn; Larry Knopp, Principal Trumpet; Gregory A. Cox, Principal Trombone; Linda Lee Thomas, Principal Pianist and Elizabeth Volpe, Harp.

Though the Vancouver rains fell on a stark night, inside the Orpheum was a wonderful world of music thanks to the celebrated talent of Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

© 2012 Michael Pink