Review: The power of the KSO’s Voilá Viola

Kamloops Symphony Orchestra's penultimate concert of the season streamed live on April 23 and can be viewed online at kamloopssymphony.com through May 22.

There is a lot of listening in the Kamloops Symphony’s Orchestra’s concert, Voilà Viola.

The penultimate concert of the season streamed live on April 23 and can be viewed online at kamloopssymphony.com through May 22.

It has all the power of stringed instruments to express emotion: violins that lift up, violas that penetrate, cellos that tug and a bass that enforces.

There is no escaping the effects.

From the opening notes of Edvard Grieg’s tribute to the baroque composer Holberg, we are amazed again at the KSO’s crisp, confident sound.

Music is confirmed as the universal language.

Following that is a recording of a conversation between conductor Dina Gilbert and guest soloist Marina Thibeault.

It’s gentle education and an important addition, as Peteris Vasks’ concerto for viola and string orchestra is comparable to an outward-bound experience — enjoyable if you know what you are in for.

We discover a young woman who is able to combine meditation and exuberance while excelling on an instrument that can tell deep, dark tales.

Whether Vasks’ concerto is speaking about climate change or the tragic history of the Latvian people, its message is the same — if you truly engage with life, you are on a long, hard road.

Hope is present in the form of talented artists committed to revealing that road.

Sadness and anger are met with grace and equanimity.

The piece written by Nina Rota that ends the program is our reward for the hard work. The KSO gifts us again.

© Kamloops This Week