Review: Kamloops Symphony’s Magic of Vienna

The orchestra takes the audience on a musical journey through the era of the waltz

The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra taking their final bow on Friday Jan. 15 (Jennifer Will/The Omega)

The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra taking their final bow on Friday Jan. 15 (Jennifer Will/The Omega)

The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra hosted its annual concert to ring in the new year. The audience was taken on a beautifully-conducted ride through the evolution of the waltz and its many counterparts, such as the polka, the can-can, the minuet and the gallop. The performance was well-produced with excellent acoustics to complement the ability of the musicians.

The concert had an enormous amount of talent on stage, featuring Cvetozar Vutev as first violinist and concertmaster and TRU professor Annette Dominik as second violinist, who added her own beautifully-crafted harmonies and inspiring talent. The selection of pieces for the show construct a 19th-century Viennese atmosphere that is perfectly complemented by the decor and fabulous attire of the musicians, who were all dressed in tuxedos and beautiful ball gowns.

“Invitation to the Dance,” composed by Weber (arranged by Berlioz), was the fourth number of the show in the first half of the concert. This piece was one of the most riveting of all and the most telling in the show. Cellist Martin Kratky had a repartee with the orchestra telling the story of a man, played by the cello, asking a woman to dance, played by the rest of the orchestra. Narrator Rod Michell described the setting of a dimly lit romantic Vienna, asking the audience to bask in the intimacy felt by the two young lovers. “Invitation to the Dance” stands as a highlight of the technical prowess the orchestra has along with the impeccable ability to evoke a strong mood and compelling narrative.

The concert was hosted by Rod Michell, marking his fourth performance with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Although Michell’s narration gave the show a quality of uniqueness and was presented with thoroughness, the narration did sometimes seem to interrupt the rhythm of the music and left little to the imagination while introducing the audience to interesting but unnecessary knowledge. However, it could prove to be quite useful to those who are new to the symphony and classical tunes.

The final piece performed by the KSO brought the audience to life, with its enthralling rendition of the can-can, although the evening was officially concluded with a traditional bonus piece conducted by newtimer, Daphne Nelson. She had never conducted an orchestra before, nor does she read music. As she filled the theatre with music, it bought the audience to their feet.

The KSO uses light and traditional classical music to draw in seasoned symphony-goers and those who are new to the trade but still have an interest in classical music. This show is perfect for anyone who loves to indulge in the arts.