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Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto en si mineur pour quatre violons, opus 3, n° 10

Tout le monde aime Tchaïkovski !

Everybody loves Tchaïkovsky, the beloved composer of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake! Or so you would think… In fact, it was not so during his lifetime! As a gay man living in the imperialist Russia of the 19th century, a time when homosexuals were imprisoned or executed, his well-being was in constant danger.  Some discredited his music as inconsequential and this demoralized him as one can only imagine.

Yet there was one person who was an ardent admirer and supporter, Nadezhda von Meck. Von Meck was a Russian business woman who became an influential patron of the arts, especially music. She supported Tchaïkovsky financially for 13 years so that he could devote himself fully to composition. They carried on significant correspondence, exchanging over 1,200 letters between 1877 and 1890. The intriguing condition of their exchange imposed by Nadezhda was that they were never to meet.

In the first part of this concert, actor Jean Marchand recounts a synopsis of the incredible epistolary love story between Tchaïkovsky and his patron Nadezhda von Meck, played by Monique Miller. On stage, passion overflows in words and music. Through the portrayal of the love affair between Von Meck’s in house musician, Claude Debussy, played by Frédéric Millaire Zouvi, and her daughter Sonia, played by Stéphanie Germain, we are enthralled by aristocracy of imperialist Russia. The confluence of the musicians and actors weaves a fantastic journey into Tchaikovsky's music and personal life. Vivaldi’s Concerto in B Minor for Four Violins, performed by the Festival string ensemble, sublimates this wonderful moment.

Actors

Jean Marchand, Pyotr Iyitch Tchaïkovsky Monique Miller, Nadezhda von Meck Frédéric Millaire Zouvi, Claude Debussy Stéphanie Germain, Sonia

Festival Strings
Violins Violas
Martin Beaver, solo
Christina Bouey
Ladusa Chang-Ou
Heemin Choi
Jeanne Côté
Amy Hillis
Carissa Klopoushak
Byungchan Lee
Marie-Claire Vaillancourt
Emmanuel Vukovich
Abby Walsh
Rebecca Weger
Keith Hamm, solo
Vincent Delorme
David Montreuil
Annie Parent

Cellos
Denis Brott, solo
Elie Boissinot
Cameron Crozman
Bruno Tobon

Bass
Eric Chappell

Harpsichord
Luc Beauséjour