British music is great and does not disappoint!
The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, with international rising superstar, Callum Smart, enraptured the Jack Singer concert hall with English sophistication, elegance and majestic sound. Callum Smart, the shining crown jewel of this evening's performance, heralds from England and gave an awe-inspiring performance for someone so young!
The patriotic line-up of the concert included: Walton's Orb and Sceptre: Coronation March, Delius' La Calinda, Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, and of course, Arne's Rule, Britannia! The overall feeling of the concert was given context by the humorous conductor, Grant Llewellyn. He, in jest, rubs an elbow in the ribs of the Canadians in the audience, with " Did Canada even send a team to the Olympics?". Delightfully patriotic.
Highlights of the concert included a mesmerizing and nostalgic piece, Orb and Sceptre: Coronation March, the piece was commissioned for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, with this march, rouses from the deep reservoirs of British history the elegance and proud English love for their Queen, as the horns blare those recognizable rhythms. A piece that represented the very essence of "Englishness" was Delius' La Calinda, a pretty wedding dance that tells the story of an African prince who is sold into slavery and falls in love with the slave girl Palmorya. Familiar American dance rhythms are also captured in this piece, as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra delightfully captures the light and giddiness of a wedding, with the warmth of the strings and gentle stirrings of the wind instruments bringing this piece to life.
Of course, the crowning jewel of this concert was the young and soulful violinist, Callum Smart, that plays a realistic and enrapturing lark ascending from the rural side in Vaughnan Williams, The Lark Ascending. This piece is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever heard the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra perform! This enchanting score required finesse and serenity to be captured, tones to be airy and light, painting an astounding animated image of a lark ascending from the rural country side. Closing my eyes, I hear the singular, melodic singing voice of a lark resonate throughout the whole concert hall. Callum Smart and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra performed with tangible passion, showcasing their artistic sensitivity in this beautiful piece.
The evening was concluded with a faithful and patriotic salute to Britain, with Arne's Rule, Britannia!, this 1740′s composed song of British passion to rule the seas. The audience joined the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in an up soaring and heartfelt rendition of this patriotic song, many English persons in the audience smiling with mirth of their birthplace or original homeland.
Thanks go to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for providing tickets to this incredibly moving experience! Young or old, come one and all and feel the patriotism with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and who knows, you might find something thrillingly unexpected when you listen to the CPO LIVE!