Moscow Virtuosi

The Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and their conductor, Vladimir Spivakov, played Roy Thomson Hall last night.  The first part of the concert was all instrumental and rather fine.  I was struck by the small band’s ability to vary the weight and richness of their sound to match the mood of the music.  Their treatment of Mozart’s Divertimento No.1, for example, was quite lean and sinewy.  On the other hand the string sound, especially the cellos, was much richer in a very moving and idiomatic account of the Shostakovich Chamber Symphony in C minor.  Things got even richer for Bruch’s Kol Nidrei where the orchestra was joined by 14 year old Israeli cellist Danielle Akta.  The orchestral sound was sumptuous here but the real star was Ms. Akta.  One expects virtuosity from the sort of young musician who tours with a major orchestra but one does not necessarily expect the kind of intensity that we got from Ms. Akta.  She played as if she had the sort of life experience one would simply not wish on a young girl.  Her instrument, an Orselli loaned by Dr. Moshe Kantor, was rather wonderful too.  She can do virtuoso too as she showed in the Popper Concert Polonaise that closed a very satisfying first half.

Spivakov_Danielle Akta_Jun8-2017_0066 - by Vladimir Kevorkov

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Looking ahead to June

Suffragette-Banner-4-e1486152573698Usually this is when things start to quieten down. Not so much this year.  On the opera front it does go a bit flat though Opera 5 have their Ethel Smyth double bill opening at Theatre Passe Muraille on the 22nd.  There’s also an evening of opera improv; Whose opera is it anyways?! at the Bad Dog Theatre on the 16th organised by Loose TEA theatre.  And there’s quite a bit more of interest.  Continue reading