Inevitably, this year’s Krehm memorial concert was presented virtually. It premiered last night and is available on the Canzona Chamber Players Youtube channel. It’s in two parts. In the first Rachel Krehm is the soloist in the Schoenberg arrangement of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. I initially thought that Evan Mitchell’s tempi were on the slow side but they grew on me and Rachel sings expressively and rather beautifully. I like the chamber arrangement of these pieces precisely because the singer doesn’t have to force her voice over a big orchestra and can be more Lieder like.
The second half was Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in a chamber reduction by Kevin Lau. This is a symphony that would be on a very short list of personal favourites and I’ve heard it many, many times. Hearing it with one instrument on each part (mostly) was really fascinating. There were places where I missed the richness of a larger string section but mostly I enjoyed the additional clarity. As he always seems to manage to do, Evan got well inside the piece and drew out its qualities very nicely.
Technically, I’ve seen crisper video but the sound is excellent which, really, is what matters here. The stream is available free of charge but, should you feel so moved, donations to St. Mike’s hospital would be appreciated. Here’s the link for that.