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Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Performs Bach’s Favorite Songs – Summerland Review

This weekend, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra hosted guest conductor and baroque music specialist Ivars Taurins for Bach’s Playlist.

The concert featured music that would have been popular during Johann Sebastian Bach’s lifetime and would likely have found a place among his 20 favorites.

The first was Concerto in D minor by Antonio Vivaldi, an Italian contemporary of Bach. This piece was full of sparkling passages and featured delightful violin solos by Susan Schaffer and Martine den Bok. In short, a promising start to the evening.

Then there was a clever arrangement of Bach’s own keyboard piece, Italian Concerto. The orchestra captured the contrasting moods of this piece, with Taurines directing the intention of the music rather than keeping the beat, resulting in a performance rich in subtleties.

by Tomaso Albinoni Concerto grosso in E minor was next. A well-balanced game and an excellent set marked the performance. Congratulations to violinist Narumi Higuchi for her energetic solos.

The first half of the program ended with Suite in F major by Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka. The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra shone with its attention to the precise execution of sixteenth note tracks and a forceful attack. Congratulations to oboists Lauris Davis and Michelle Feng for their excellent work as a duet.

After the intermission came Concerto grosso in f minor by Pietro Locatelli. Filled with canonical and contrapuntal writing, the orchestra has demonstrated an excellent sensitivity of baroque interpretation. The exquisite duet work between violinists Susan Schaffer and Narumi Higuchi brought sparkle to the performance.

The Saraband and Air for shadows of I Trionfi del Fato and Chaconne of Henrico leone by Agostino Steffani made a perfectly balanced trio and a perfect sequence in the Between pleasant dreams by Handel. Charming and calm, the music provided a calming breath before the final work of the program.

Under the ever-capable baton of the Taurins, the orchestra enthusiastically immersed itself in a selection of movements from Wassermusik by George Phillip Telemann. Starting with the majestic Opening and bubbling until breathless Harlequinade, the orchestra kept its concentration and its energy.

It was a splendid evening filled with upbeat and revitalizing music. Congratulations to the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra for continuing to deliver an exemplary level of musical excellence.

Anita Perry is a music teacher at Summerland.

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