Reviewed by Paula Citron
Le Festival de Lanaudière
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Featuring Layla Claire, soprano, Julie Boulianne, mezzo-soprano, John Tessier, tenor and Nathan Berg, baritone
With Orchestre et Choeur Métropolitain and Choeur Fernand-Lindsay
Jul. 09 to Aug. 7, 2011
One of Canada’s greatest cultural treasures is Le Festival de Lanaudière, the county’s largest classical music festival. The town of Joliette lies just beyond Montreal, so the festival is certainly drivable from Toronto.
The programming at Lanaudière is always imaginative, and the opening concert, titled Concert d’Ouverture was vintage. The all-Beethoven program recreated an historic concert that the composer mounted in Vienna on May 7, 1824.
The music included The Consecration of the House Overture, the Kyrie, Credo and Agnus Dei from Missa Solemnis, and the 9th Symphony.
The program was partly responsible for attracting one of the largest crowds in festival history – over 5000 people – but there was another magnet – wunderkind conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his Orchestre Métropolitain.
The conductor was treated like a rock star with the delirious crowd chanting “Yannick, Yannick” after his superb reading of the scores. It was truly a night to remember.
Festival de Lanaudière continues at Joliette, Quebec until Aug. 7.