Mariangela Vacatello

I attended four performances during this year’s Vancouver MusicFest. Here’s a brief recap of the concerts.

Franz Liszt was considered to be one of the most famous touring piano virtuosos in Europe. In celebrating the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birthday, stunning Italian pianist Mariangela Vacatello performed two of his works on Wednesday evening at Christ Church Cathedral. One was a Sonata in B minor, and the other, three movements from 12 Transcendental Etudes.

Both pieces that Vacatello performed were highly charged and ran the gamut from thundering build-ups to just lightly touching the keys. My only regret of the evening was not having arrived earlier in order to get a seat with a better view of her hands as they glided across the ivory. Still, I was able to watch her facial expressions, which matched the passion she has for performing, bringing an expressive quality to these beloved pieces of music. I would love to see her perform with a full symphony one day in a larger venue, as she’s incredibly gifted and beautiful to watch.

Regina Carter and the Reverse Thread Project
[Regina Carter and The Reverse Thread Project]

Billed as a jazz violinist, super-talented Regina Carter’s music crosses so many genres. Monday night’s concert was a treat for Vancouverites. Throughout the two sets, Regina and her band (the Reverse Thread Project) shone in their respective spotlights, covering jazz, dixie, folksongs from East Africa and beyond, and classical styles.

No matter your musical taste, Regina Carter touched each and every person in the packed Vogue Theatre by her passionate and evocative performance.

Jacques Ogg
[Dutchman Jacques Ogg]

Traverso Wilbert Hazelzet and harpsichordist Jacques Ogg teamed up for their La Douceur (Flute Music from the Court of the Sun King) concert last Sunday night at UBC’s Roy Barnett recital hall. The two Dutchmen are known around the globe for their respective instrumental style and this concert was no exception. Over the course of the evening, pieces from François Couperin, Felix Rault, Marin Marais and others were performed. Both men are excellent musicians and the combination of these two instruments is a sublime experience to encounter.

harpsichord on stage at UBC

Sunday evening’s grand finale concert, Bach and Beyond, brought back the two musicians we watched a week earlier: Wilbert Hazelzet and Jacques Ogg, together with violinists Marc Destrubé and Julie Andrijeski and Jaap ter Linden on cello. They performed six pieces by composers Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Marie Leclair, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Mozart, Bach and Johann Gottlieb Janisch, with my favourite being Janitsch’s Quartett in C-minor. Both my husband and I felt that with this piece, all five musicians were able to shine in their respective spotlights, while complementing one another during the course of the three movements. Flutist Hazelzet was outstanding throughout the evening, but especially so while performing this pieces’s Allegro assai. My Dutch husband and I enjoyed the chance to see so many fellow Dutchmen on stage together.

The house was packed with a waiting list filling up to the moment the lights went down. The Bach concert was a memorable way to top another MusicFest!

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