A Requiem too informed and over

Photo: Steve L. Sherman
Jacques Lacombe in 2012

For the 40 years of Concerts Lachine, a remarkable institution which provides, among other things, free summer time concerts, a benefit event was organized on Sunday by way of the artistic director Richard Turp, and of the true philanthropist Noel Spinelli. They had invited musicians who had given Verdi’s Requiem on Saturday at Three Rivers.


The artistic results, strong recalled the success of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval in the same work in April 2016, with an orchestra and choir to the height of the work, but the magic in the least, because of the interpretive options of Jacques Lacombe and parasites polluting greatly the presentation.


These were very irritating : a-type noise humming noise, very noticeable and continuous, perceptible at the slightest pianissimo and not at all in the tone of the Verdi Requiem. Information taken, it was the transformers of the lighting light-emitting diodes. This problem was obviously known from the outset, a church less nicely-lit but silent would have been more welcoming for musicians and spectators. He even had to admire the soloists, in particular Fiset and Belanger on the attack of the Agnus Dei, to find their note with this “fake” buzzing around.


As for me, the concert was “scrapped” from A to Z. The most beautiful things to hear were the radiation voice of Marianne Fiset and Luc Robert. About Alain Coulombe, this was not his day : already little assured in his ” Mors stupebit “, after he cracked a note in the Confutatis, he ensured the end of his aria, singing treble at the octave.


But this is the direction of Jacques Lacombe, which leaves the more questions without answers. It is known that the chief quebecers like the frank and direct. At this point, it is a little over. Indeed, part of the fluidity can be a convenience for the convenience of the choir (it is more easy to just singing when we sing fast), but the number of shades and, especially, spiritual resolutions that maintain the prayer (” Oro supplex “, ” Lacrimosa “, ” Quid sum miser “) may not be similarly smoothed. Many crucial questions about the sounds also remain unanswered. What is a sotto voce in Verdi ? What is the color of such or such a passage ? In fact, Verdi’s application of the emissions vocal more covered, but these, on the other hand, endanger the intonation.


In short, it is better not to dig. It will be better the next time.

Verdi’s Requiem

With Marianne Fiset (soprano), Christiane Bélanger (mezzo), Luc Robert (tenor), Alain Coulombe (bass), Chorus and Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, Jacques Lacombe. Church of Saints-Anges-de-Lachine, on Sunday November 19.

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