Three-Rivers — Forty years for a symphony orchestra in a city in quebec, of medium size, it is more than a birthday, it is a feat.
Asked to comment on the anniversary of the OSTR, as well as the music director Jacques Lacombe, the director-general Natalie Rousseau considering first the evolution of the orchestra through the years. “We went through all kinds of phases, said the director-general. I remember that at the start, the OSTR was made up of people from a bit all over the place: extra musicians from outside the region, professors and students of the higher levels in the Conservatory, etc, At a certain point, it has been recognized as one of the best orchestras in accompaniment to Quebec to eventually become the equivalent of the orchestras of the major centres.”
“There has been a phenomenon of professionalization important that is installed gradually and when we need to make changes among our musicians, the level of the candidates is constantly growing higher and higher.”
“The qualitative level of the orchestra today has probably little to do with what it was at the beginning, analysis Jacques Lacombe. Not that it wasn’t great at the time but the work on the improvement of an orchestra, it is always long-term. On the artistic level, the result that, today, offers each program is very close to my ideal, although in this field, it always aims at the perfection that one never reaches.”
“What I wanted when I took over the reins of the OSTR and that I still wish is that we could play together more regularly. More musicians will be able to play together, the more the osmosis between them is going to refine and better the orchestra.”
Maestro Jacques Lacombe
For the maestro, there is no doubt that the stability in the staffing of the orchestra and the multiplication of opportunities for play are the key of evolution. “The fact that I have worked with this group quite often allowed to homogenize things and the more we play together, the more effective it will be. Which is now acquired, it is that one can take up any work in the repertoire. Therefore, quality is a matter of rehearsal time and financial resources. For example, with more money, we could add a dozen strings. There, it is at a minimum, to address the whole directory. Ten cords more, it would change squarely on the personality of the orchestra.”
It includes the single tone of her voice that, notwithstanding the financial constraints this would be the next improvement he would bring to the orchestra. Will not believe that he is dissatisfied with what it can accomplish for the podium with the OSTR. “One of the criteria for judging the level of an orchestra, it is the versatility and that it is the a. For example, it has a program in place by year when we hit the baroque. In the classical, romantic, or contemporary, I can say that the orchestra is quite comfortable. For the last three or four years in about one opera a year, in concert or semi-staged, and it elevates our level of versatility, because it requires of the musicians they are listening to the singers. In the orchestras in Quebec, we are one of the few that can play quite convincingly the operatic repertoire.”
Despite its strict requirements, maestro Lacombe says bluntly that the OSTR is already a very good orchestra that all he need are the financial means to achieve the maximum capacity.
We do not expect that Natalie Rousseau is of different opinion. She expresses a more emphatic still. “There is no other regional orchestra of our level in Quebec. And I would say even in Canada. There are several orchestras in the most important cities in terms of population that are not as good as we are. I think Regina or Hamilton who had orchestras of a very high level, but who are not of our quality. When specialists seek to compare us, it is often with the orchestra of Winnipeg that they are doing it. However, it is a market of an entirely different magnitude. We have demonstrated that we are comfortable with the products, the more difficult that only the greatest orchestras attack.”
The violinist original) Antoine Baril is probably not the most objective, but it has the advantage of having played with several orchestras in quebec. “It is clear, he argues, that the orchestra is roughly positioned well for the past few years. Unfortunately, there is too often a distinction between the orchestras of the metropolitan business area and those of the regions, which is a shame. The OSTR is of a very high level. Each section is of great quality, and Jacques knows how to get the best. It is an orchestra which this programming is varied, often bold. For these reasons, it is very advantageously considered in Quebec.”