01 Jul London Freepress – James Reaney’s Blog on NYOC
For three July nights in three straight years, the NYOC has triumphed, in spite
of Alumni Hall’s deficiencies. The terrific young players about to be chosen
over the next year deserve a better venue when they return for NYOC’s 50th
anniversary boot camp & tour rehearsal in 2010. What we heard Saturday
from 100 of this year’s players under the baton of Alain Trudel was splendid.
I missed the Thursday concert, but hope that Rob Teehan’s Dreams of Flying soared
as it should. On Saturday, I was captivated by the Ravel, fascinated by the 25-year-old
Quebec composer Samy Mousa’s Cyclus, and enthralled by the finger-snapping, bass-
twirling & swing of Bernstein’s West Side Story Symphonic Dances.
Trudel conveys a great joy in leading his young charges into battle . . . . during the
intermission Brassroots guru Bram Gregson came over & said Alain Trudel (a terrific
trombone player, too) is one of the easiest people he has ever worked with. That’s been
on three or four occasions with Intrada (Bram’s Toronto ensemble) and Brassroots.
Then, it was time for Rite of Spring . . . I feel great joy in reporting that a surging &
surprisingly tender at times Rite – the same work that provoked fisticuffs at its Paris
premiere in 1913 – produced a standing ovation at Aluminum Hall a mere 96 years
later. Trudel and company brought new dimensions to a masterpiece I have previously
enjoyed on the gramophone many a time. Bravo.
There were several encores . . . Stravinsky’s delightful happy side of Petrouchka-esque
Scherzo a la Russe (commissioned by Paul Whiteman, it turns out) . . . & two majestic
madrigals, one in French, then one in English, showcased the youth orchestra’s choral
The NYOC’s training program at UWO, via the Don Wright music faculty, has been one
of the greatest things about London A&E for three summers in a row . . . may the NYOC
& the rest of us find a way to share it more widely in 2010.