First steps of the Metropolitan in Europe: a triumph beyond all hope

Photo: François Goupil
Jean-Guihen Queyras has released the big game, a mark at the top of his performance in montreal.

The first notes of the Metropolitan Orchestra played abroad played at the Philharmonic orchestra of Dortmund and what are those of a Quebec music : Kaleidoscope by Pierre Mercure.


The choice is perfect. The work, which marks our musical history, is unknown here, as is unknown to the orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin comes to a city that has adopted it almost as a child of the country.


The Philharmonic orchestra of Dortmund offers a three-year residency of an artist in the freedom of his artistic choices. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has just finished triumphantly hers a few months ago. These are not applause polite greeting Kaleidoscope, as usually after the first piece of a concert. The head is to be recalled on stage. The enthusiasm will grow : Marie-Nicole Lemieux will be given four reminders. Jean-Guihen Queyras as well.


Concert master


There were tears of emotion from both sides of the stage. It was huge. Judge by yourself. The concert of the Orchestre Métropolitain, was part of a cycle “Concerts of the masters” of the Philharmonic orchestra of Dortmund. In fact, the very large majority of the audience were subscribers of this cycle in which they have heard or will hear this season, Murray Perahia and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Symphony with Simon Rattle, the chamber Orchestra of Gustav Mahler and Daniele Gatti or the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra with Andris Nelsons. A public of connoisseurs.


At the end of the evening, we didn’t need to ask, it was enough to lend an ear : “fantastic” and “super concert” is heard from everywhere in the aisles. When we asked subscribers if they had noticed a difference in quality orchestral compared to their habits, the answer was unanimous : “are You kidding me ? Not at all ! “


Ulrich Schultheiss is professor of composition and music theory at the University of Münster. We meet him at the exit. He has done 70 miles away, with his wife, to hear the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin : “This is the program that attracted me, and hear with his canadian orchestra Yannick, that I had already seen twice. I am a professional in the music and I am really amazed of the very high level of what I just heard. “


This is what led the director of the Philharmonic, Benedikt Stampa, after the concert : “It was not a success, it was a triumph ! “It is true that a room standing, in Germany, we don’t see this every day…


Jean-Guihen Queyras fate of the great game


The concert had a configuration different from that of Montreal, last Wednesday. There was no disturbance by the public nor domination of Marie-Nicole Lemieux. The singer has wonderfully covered the summer Nights, but, this time with a magic increasing Absence and The cemetery (melodies 4 and 5) : “It seems that the soul is awakened weeps under the earth in unison with the song” in the centre of the register, was, this time, the passage of miraculous.

I am a professional in the music and I am really amazed of the very high level of what I just heard
Ulrich Schultheiss, professor of composition and music theory at the University of Münster

Jean-Guihen Queyras has released the big game, a mark at the top of his performance in montreal, with a 3rd movement reversing, always moving forward with great intensity.


And there came the miracle. Then we wondered how Yannick Nézet-Séguin was going, with the Enigma Variations, to surpass this bomb music, its musicians and we have released a provision of top level international invite illico the orchestra in any room of the world, Enigma chiseled, generosity, sound appalling with a Troyte (the variation of the lively and percussive, two before Nimrod) delusional.


There was the expected precision, but also really a lot of sound, in a room generous, in front of an audience totally silent. A Pavane pour une infante défunte in recall, with a horn solo to swoon, Louis-Philippe Marsolais, our big horn québec, has lavishly ended this rendez-vous, which was not a trial run, but a developer.


The trigger


At the end of the concert, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has handed in his baton to the mayor of Dortmund, Ullrich Sierau. Throughout the speech of Mr. Sierau, saying that life had made him the gift, on the day of his 19 years, the birth of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the ambassador of Canada in Germany, Stéphane Dion, triturait nervously various sheets of paper.


This speech long prepared, Stéphane Dion has finally wisely stowed in his pockets for being in tune with the “spontaneity of the heat of the public” thanking just the conductor and orchestra to have, ” for their first time out of Canada, chose Germany to express the need to have more harmony in the world “.


Yannick Nézet-Séguin has concluded the round of speeches concisely but eloquently, pointing out that the concert was only the beginning of which marked ” a rendez-vous with Europe for many well often “.


We are at the first of seven steps and it isn’t even the slightest bit of doubt about that. Because the trigger was psychological in one evening. Here and now for always, the Metropolitan is not the” orchestra B city ” : he played in the european court, with the great, to the delight and pride of all.


Christophe Huss is the guest of the Orchestre Métropolitain for this european tour

European tour with the Orchestre Métropolitain

Concert 1. Mercure : Kaleidoscope. Berlioz : summer Nights. Saint-Saëns : cello Concerto no. 1 Elgar : Enigma Variations. Marie Nicole Lemieux (contralto), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), Yannick Nézet-Séguin (direction). Dortmund, Philharmonie, Sunday 26 November 2017.

Share Button