Guelph Symphony Orchestra’s “The Planets”

I went to Guelph Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of “The Planets.”

The concert started with Glenn Buhr’s “Akasha (Sky)” and Carl Reinecke’s “Concerto in D major for Flute and Orchestra.” I didn’t know either of these pieces — they were fine, but didn’t really grab me. Laura Andrew played flute in the Reinecke.

The concert finished with Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” This piece is in seven movements:

  • the relentless “Mars, the Bringer of War”
  • the lyrical “Venus, the Bringer of Peace”
  • the playful “Mercury, the Winged Messenger”
  • the celebratory “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity”
  • the mysterious “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age”
  • the almost-chaotic “Uranus, the Magician”
  • the ethereal “Neptune, the Mystic”

It’s one of my favourite pieces, and I think this is the first time I’ve heard the whole thing live. It was accompanied by beautiful images from the Hubble Telescope.

The University of Guelph Women’s Chorus sang in the final movement. The orchestra is directed by Judith Yan.

I’m not sure if it was me or the acoustics but I felt a bit distanced from the music.

It’s a bit nitpicky but it would be nice if the enthusiastic concertgoers in Guelph refrained from applauding between movements.

One unusual thing happened before the intermission. They were holding a vote to determine which symphony would be played at their next concert. I’d read about it before so I knew what was going on, but it seemed a bit perfunctory — it needed a bit more explanation and a bit more played of each symphony for the audience to make a real choice.

It wasn’t one of my favourite concerts ever but it was a good one.

I previously reviewed the GSO’s concert “American Rhapsody.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 6:39 pm and is filed under Reviews of music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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