Celebrating the holidays in sound

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In a night of song, KW Symphony celebrated the holiday season in a beautiful night of carols and classics.

Held in the Central Presbyterian Church of scenic downtown Cambridge on Nov. 25, orchestra lovers from across the tricities gathered for a night of celebration in sound.

Greeted by costumed carolers, the crowd babbled with excitement. A sudden hush fell over the room as the players tuned to pitch.

A series of Italian pieces depicting the nativity story began the night. Conducted by the illustrious Ivan Taurins, the flowing, tremulous tunes filled the church with graceful sound.

“It is almost motionless in it’s beauty,” said Taurins of the excerpts.

After a stirring performance of “He Shall Feed His Flock” by Ellen McAteer, an Ottawa-born soprano, the evening paused for intermission.

The orchestra also played a sombre rendition of Pierto Locatelli’s “Concerto Grosso in F Minor, Op.1, No.8.” Rich and multi-layered, the music rose and fell off the instruments as if in waves like swaying branches of a tree in the breeze.

Poignant and complex, the piece felt more like a living being than mere song; full of love, loss, and longing.

In a sudden change of pace and much to the delight of the audience, the symphony dove into a series of classic carols by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Stepping gracefully upwards, the music felt bright and fresh. McAteer’s vocals provided the perfect accompaniment with all the drama and beauty of classic opera. Led by Bénédicté Lauziere as a fearless first violin, she made the daring vocal acrobatics seem effortless.

Drawing the night to a close,  the players eased into a series of Baroque arrangements. Selections spanned across languages and throughout time — their origins different and their beauty unparalleled.

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