Less than 24 hours before the January 21st concert OCCS President, Pam May-Straka received a call to say that one of the members of the Aurora Piano Trio was ill. There were two options – cancel the concert or accept a substitute. Fortunately, the two healthy members of the trio are also in the Borealis String Quartet, and the quartet was currently in rehearsal for a series of concerts in BC and Ontario. They hopped on a ferry Saturday morning.
Magic was performed in the middle of the night by another board member who created a new printed program for the evening. Cognisant of the expense of
last-minute photocopies, fewer than normal numbers of the program were printed but patient concertgoers graciously shared and the program was also projected on overhead screens.
Each of the three pieces were introduced by violinist Yuel Yawney. The first was a beautifully lyrical composition, String Quartet No. 3, written specifically for the quartet by Canadian Latvian composer Imant Raminsh. The second was Shostakovich’s haunting String Quartet No. 8, dedicated “to the memory of the victims of fascism and war” which conjures up the horrors of the battlefield and intimates the composer’s state of mind. The third piece, in stark contrast, was Dvorak’s high-spirited String Quartet No. 6 in F Major “The American”.
The energy and enthusiasm of all members of the Borealis String Quartet was a delight to watch and their music was truly a gift to us all. The stars were most certainly aligned.
Photos: Don Dempson