Sarah Macdonald, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Works reflecting on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War brought the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s audience members to their feet twice on Saturday evening at TCU Place.
The first ovation was for cellist Stéphane Tétreault, who gave a passionate tour-de-force with Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor. Written in 1919 after the composer had stopped writing music for several years during the war, the concerto demands technique and passion from the cellist, and Tétreault delivered both.
The 25-year-old, who plays a 311-year-old Stradivarius, showcased his impeccable skills and his responsiveness to the colourful music. In the second movement, his fingers danced up and down the strings, making the difficult work look easy. In the third movement, which slowed to more of a lullaby, the cello’s rich vibrato revealed Tétreault’s sensitive connection to the music. As he lifted his bow after the final movement, audience members were immediately on their feet for a long ovation, lauding his impressive performance.
Read on the Saskatoon StarPhoenix