Last night’s TSO program, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, kicked off with three short pieces by Canadian composers. All were impressive. The first two; Adam Scime’s A Dream of Refuge and Bekah Simms’ Bite are reflections (to some at extent at least) on the pandemic. The Scime piece is lighter and brighter. There is uncertainty there but ultimately it seems to speak of hope. The Simms piece wis much darker with heavy percussion and blaring brass. A sense of uncertainty permeates the string writing. It’s quite disturbing. Roydon Tse’s Unrelenting Sorrow was written for those who have lost loved ones. It’s quite melodic and has strong contrasts between dramatic and more lyrical passages. Sorrowful perhaps but not unrelentingly so.
I was back at the Four Seasons Centre last night to have another look at the COC’s Die Walküre. The big news, which I heard pretty much as soon as I arrived, was that cover Issachah Savage would be singing Siegmund in place of an indisposed Clifton Forbis. This time, unlike last Saturday when he also sang, this was very much a last minute call. The reviews and the word on the street, and from my companion for the evening who had seen him in Seattle when he won the International Wagner Competition last year had been very positive so I was very interested to hear him. Clearly word had got out about his Saturday performance because when the announcement was made in the hall there was a curious ambiguous noise not at all like the collective sigh that usually greets such news.