A baffling evening with OSM at the Olympic Stadium

Montreal residents flocked to the Olympic Stadium in droves for the concert Aux couleurs des Amériques prepared by Rafael Payare and OSM, with the aim of “celebrating the richness of musical repertoire that has existed on American soil for centuries, from Canada to Venezuela”. In the end, the evening was unsettling, somewhat dull and without momentum or enthusiasm, despite a few fits.

Unless I’m mistaken, the number was 9e Free concert at the Olympic Stadium. It is essential in the lower quality vintage batch. Well, that was the thing! Not necessarily in terms of support. It was full in 2014 and 2015 with an audience of 40,000 spectators. 2016 and 2017 saw 30,000 people attend the stadium, an attendance number that dropped to 25,400 in 2019 due to weather threats. Surely it would have been better on Wednesday, perhaps between 25,000 and 30,000, that the OSM contented itself with saying, in the voice of Pascal Ouimet, head of media relations, “there are no other numbers than it was full.” Compared with the interval From a 2015 post on the stadium’s Facebook that can still be found online, that would make it possible to measure this abundance.

A challenging evening

We are indebted to the pioneering musical institution for setting up this great free mass gathering here. It’s exciting to see him start the ferry. Except that this start is still very conceptual, the Spree kicked off after 48 hours. We had the pleasure to hope for fervor, spirit and joy this evening. But the ceremony did not lift. He remained as a kind of “concept on paper”, flameless, unable to generate popular momentum, unsuitable to touch the heart simply and easily, except during the recitation of a poem and the presentation of an original song. Natasha Canabe Fontaine and Jeremy Dacher. Given the programme’s ambition, the work of a Quebec composer would not be unwelcome.

The challenge this evening is great: it’s the only time of the year when an organization can take in tens of thousands of people and try to convince them that it’s worth taking an interest in music. Classic in general and has a special. So, of course, we understood that our new chef is Venezuelan. However, he will have to publish a giant work and treasures of imagination to convince us of the merits of programming some work.

The Concerto for different horns by Cuban Paquito Derivera and the symphonic poem by Evencio Castellanos operates on a paradigm that has been proven elsewhere and can be laid out as follows: the last three minutes are brilliant, colourful, captivating, even irresistible. The big problem is: you first have to fill yourself with a more or less painful quarter of an hour to get it. But all this is so little and so exhausting: why waste the annual opportunity to gather tens of thousands of people to promote these musical tales?

Nothing against South American repertoire of course: there are small (shorter) gems in the CD Inca Trail Communications Written by Miguel Harth Bedoya in Naxos, we’re going to hear this great season criolla chant d’Estevez, there are marvels in the Camargo Guarnieri and maybe one day you will program Payare piano concerto By Brazilian structure Tavares.

Different record, same error. Having prodigy soprano Janine de Beek in Montreal is definitely amazing. If only for 5 minutes, because 5 Minutes of Janine de Becky is worth an entire Barbara Hendricks disc! But the “city lit” of the course honey and Street Brevin, it’s a program for seasoned American music professionals! In such a context, the basic melody was the summerToo bad if it’s a boat.

So, Rafael Payare, who performed at the beginning of the concert a ultimate From New World Symphony Completely chained and dull, he tried and partially succeeded in raising a souffle with West side story, who was related to a few trumpeter Pancho Valdes and his friend Hector Molina, packing the ending of a concerto by Paquito Derivera. But all this was not enough.

Perhaps the public opinion poll will sharpen public sentiment. Anyway, the first improvement project, it’s clear that for the music, the stadium’s sound system isn’t worth the one set up at Mount Royal last week: garish level, bulging bass, solid, sumptuous string tones. For this, Rafael Payare can be a perfect advisor, because the Rady Shell amplification in San Diego, where he also works, is perfection in itself.

OSM major free concert

In the colors of the Americas. Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (4th movement). Read a text by Natasha Kanabe Fontaine. Vocals performed by Jeremy Dacher. Paquito Dervera: Concerto Venezzolano, for trumpet and orchestra. Bernstein: West Side Story, Symphony Dances. Previn: Honey and Street: The city is lit. Evencio Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Baquerigua. Natasha Canabe Fontaine, Jeremy Dacher, Jeanine de Beck (soprano), Pancho Flores (trumpet), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Raphael Bayari. Olympic Stadium Arena, Wednesday 10 August 2022.

Let’s see in the video

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