Monday, 11 June 2012

Jacobins’ concert’s jabbering overpowered music



                                         Reviewed by Nancy Snipper


Don’t get me wrong, music from the Jacobins’ period (19th century) featuring six overtures and two war and peace anthems written by Étienne-Nicolas Méheul might necessitate animation and explanation of the period. Anecdotal stories behind a piece enhance musical compositions, but after the third piece offered by the superlative Octet of wind instrumentalists, one wanted to hear Lussier Mathieu (director of the octet) play his bassoon more with Les Jacobins, the fine wind ensemble he directs, rather than spend far too much time explaining each piece. The talking seemed longer than the delightful pieces. Furthermore, because his explanations were only in French, with a few phrases ending in English – sometimes - I, along with others felt left out. Music is international; it crosses all linguistic and cultural differences. The fact the composer is not well known means word must get spread. Surely the Anglophone members of the audience (some coming from British Columbia) deserve more or equal consideration. I am bilingual, but I began to think I wasn’t until the Francophone lady beside me also expressed her frustration at not understanding each sentence; Lussier’s enthusiasm is infectious; it is matched by the speed at which he plays his beloved bassoon. Let’s hope he celebrates the universality of music rather than create division (unintentional for sure) next time he honours a composer. The concert titled 'Musical Canvases' was held on June 8th 2012 at  Bourgie Hall in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.