December 2, 2021

Rising stars feature strongly with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain

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Ian Cochrane, BackTrack

Should one risk attending a concert featuring “emerging” talents during pandemic times?

For many, the answer would be a resounding no. However, attendees at the Orchestre Métropolitain’s performance that showcased young talents in Brahms’ Double Concerto had no regrets. Three rising stars brought their talents to the fore.

Two Canadian soloists, violinist Kerson Leong and cellist Stéphane Tétreault stole the show. The former has won junior first prize at the Menuhin Competition and the latter has been featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Suffice it to say that their fame is not limited to their country of origin. Most impressive was the musicality they exuded in their respective cadenza-like solo passages in the Double Concerto. Both players were on fire. Their technical mastery was beyond reproach, their sounds easily filling the large hall. Both Leong and Tétreault were sensitive to one another’s phrasing, thereby fostering an interpretative synergy that resulted in stellar music making.

In the Brahms, the overall performance would have benefited from heightened communication and sensitivity on the part of conductor Erina Yahima and the members of the Orchestre Métropolitain. At times, their volume was inappropriately loud. The tuning in the winds, particularly evident in the slow movement, was not up to this orchestra’s usual high standard. There was an unfortunate rhythmic mishap in the final measures of the last movement that tarnished the ending.

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