Saskatoon symphony amazes in North Battleford

You know the songs, but you don’t know you know them. That is until you hear them again.

The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra undertook a special performance of one of its concerts at the Dekker Centre in North Battleford Sunday afternoon. Themes we’ve all heard in movies and on TV, from the thunderstorms of summer to the frostbite of winter, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was featured in the first half. It is indeed one of the most loved pieces of music ever written, and that’s why we have all heard it, even though we may not remember where.

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It’s a rare treat to hear such famous music done live – and so brilliantly. You can find this music all over the internet, but to hear, see and feel it in real life is an experience not available on a screen.

In announcing the concert, the SSO said it was thrilled to feature violinist Véronique Mathieu, the University of Saskatchewan David L. Kaplan Chair in Music – and it turned out that the audience was thrilled to hear her. The word amazing was flying around the foyer during the intermission.

During the break, SSO Executive Director Mark Turner said, with confidence, “Wait ‘til you hear the second half.”

The second half of the concert headed south (only in the geographical sense) with Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla. OMG! Where is your tango partner when you need him?

Exotic and moody, sometimes flirty, it was appropriate that Mathieu was dressed in red to perform this music. This internationally acclaimed violinist (who the U of S must be thrilled to have attracted)  lifted the bar incredibly high and SSO rose to the occasion. Drawn along by Mathieu through the seasons, they drew, plucked, au taloned and colléed with gusto and finesse to the quirky end. It was delightful. Director Eric Paetkau certainly looked more than content with the result.

The audience was unmistakably pleased, expressing enthusiasm with a true standing ovation (not the polite kind).

Those who attended and those who missed out will be happy to know that, over the course of the next few seasons, the SSO hopes to make annual trips to bring live orchestra concerts to North Battleford. With a goal to reach as many music lovers across the province as possible, they were hoping the North Battleford performance would be a huge success. Nearly sold out this year, it’s sure to be a sellout next year, so don’t be slow to get your tickets.

The concert was also being filmed by SaskTel Max for airing across the province, so if you missed it, check out their listings.

© Copyright Battlefords News Optimist