Saturday, 19 May 2012

Angela Hewitt Concert at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa

We went to hear Angela Hewitt at Christ Church Cathedral on Sparks Street. This Anglican cathedral is said to be the un-official National Cathedral in Canada but in reality we do not have such a designated church in Ottawa because we also have a Roman Catholic Cathedral on Sussex Drive. Nonetheless Christchurch is often use in State Ceremonial and several Prime Ministers and Governor Generals had their funeral service performed at the Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in 1832 on land given by Nicholas Sparks in Neo-Gothic style, the site is a bluff overlooking the Chaudière Falls and the Ottawa River.

Angela Hewitt's father Godfrey Hewitt, who was himself a great musician who turned down the position of organist at Westminster Cathedral to accept the position of organist and choir master at Christ Church were he worked for 50 years, (1931-1980). It was touching to hear his daughter who is an international Star in the Music World play a program of Couperin, Ravel and Schumann accompanied by the Chamber Players of Canada. As an encore she played a piece by J.S. Bach, a favourite of her late father.

The piano was a Fazioli, a wonderful instrument, the great wood ceiling of the cathedral gave very good acoustics.  The presenter was Lawrence Wall of CBC Radio who has the old style radio news reader voice once favoured by the likes of the BBC World Service. He reads the 6 o'clock evening news on the radio in the Capital.

This series of concerts given in Ottawa by Angela Hewitt is connected to her own music festival at Lake Trasimeno, Italy. The Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson was on hand and made a short speech. The concert was very well attended given the virtuosity of Ms Hewitt and her renown as a pianist.

She played the Piano Quintet by Schumann, Sixième Ordre by Couperin and Le tombeau de Couperin by Ravel. The encore was Jesu Joy of man's desiring by J.S. Bach.

A wonderful evening.

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