I suspect that this ticket from September 24th, 1992 marks the first time ever I saw the NAC Orchestra perform. If true, it would also mark only the second time I ever heard a live orchestra. My orchestral cherry had been popped during a Moncton High School band trip (I played the trumpet) to Sackville to hear the Mount Allison University Orchestra play.
To be honest, I remember the Mount A concert much more vividly than this one. The surprising power of the music and it’s uber-oomphy timbre pouring out of the string players and the sonic majesty that was coming from all of those acoustic instruments is forever burned into my memory.
Of course the calibre of Canada’s national orchestra must have completely outstripped the students at Mount A but at the time I was so new to the classical music scene that I could scarcely hear the difference. For those keeping score, this show was conducted by Trevor Pinnock, the NAC’s principal conductor who would be gone by the time I started working with the NAC in the late ’90’s.
It’s written in my ticket album that the show featured music from Rossini, Brahms and Dvorak but again, at the time I would have had a hard time pronouncing “Dvorak”, let alone recognizing his music. It also says that I went with my university girlfriend Shannon, so this was likely an attempt by me to up the classiness of our dating habits (though I probably made her pay for her own ticket, cheap as I was [am?]).
And though I don’t remember any real specifics about this show I can tell you I’ve never tired of the astounding talent that jumps off of the National Arts Centre stage when those musicians play together, and with this being my first exposure to such high-calibre music I’m sure it knocked my socks off.
And even after hearing the orchestra play and/or rehearse literally hundreds of times in the ensuing decades my socks still get thoroughly knocked off every single time.