So tonight I went to see the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in its Canadian debut with star conductor, Gustavo Dudamel (who’s sinfully adorable). And yes, I expected to be blown away. But what I *didn’t* expect was WHAT would blow me away – the sheer force, the power, the exuberance, and wait for it, my favourite word – the EBULLIENCE – of the orchestra players.
THANK YOU, LARA ST. JOHN, for asking me to be her date. Thankyouthankyouthank you.
It was the best of both worlds: young orchestra players who still perform with stars in their eyes. Yet these players are incredibly gifted and disciplined; a well-oiled machine with a precision that blew my mind; energy that only comes from a youth orchestra, and a sense of assuredness that, again, may only come from a group of young players who don’t quite realise the difficulty of the repertoire.
And then the audience. I’ve never heard Toronto freak its ass off *quite* like that. Even without the audiby proud Venezuelans in the audience, I’m quite sure the gala crowd would have flipped out anyhow.
And the encores! OMG. The first was Bernstein’s Mambo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtnjixhvOTU
Again the best of both worlds: the symphonic world and the WORLD MUSIC world. Imagine seeing an orchestra sway from side to side, twirl their stringed instruments, twirl their trumpets, stand up, shout, and shake their bootie. Why the bloody hell won’t more orchestras loosen up like this? I felt like I was at an outdoor orchestra concert in Rio or something. Then they finished with Ginstera’s Estancia Danza final (Molambo).
I was beside myself.
This concert fulfilled the very deep need in me to experience something both classical and explosively cathartic. This is not to say hearing the TSO and a shit-hot pianist do the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor isn’t cathartic. But to see 250 young musicians with its youthful conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, let ‘er rip and get up and move around on stage…..WHY CAN’T WE HAVE THIS MUCH FUN AT THE SYMPHONY? I’ve never seen anything like this.
Must I emigrate to South America to experience more of this? I’ve always wondered if I was Latina in a past life, which would be a far cry from the Canadian-born Japanese-English person I actually am.
Hearing tonight’s concert confirms it.