Quartetto Gelato helps celebrate 75 years of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
The Windsor Symphony Orchestra continues its 75th season and recently celebrated with a special anniversary weekend September 24-25 at the Capitol Theater with guests Quartetto Gelato.
After a rather inspired version of Canada’s national anthem, the symphony warmed up with Boléro, a one-movement orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel recognizable among all by its repetitive drums beating the first notes on the flute. It is a magnificent work and appreciated by many for its simple and repetitive ostinato which lasts 15 rounds. The unwavering drum pattern lasts over 5,000 beats, each one winning hearts and admiration.
The main attraction of this engagement were the four incredibly talented members of Hamilton’s Quartetto Gelato. The quartet has been in existence for over 30 years and recently replaced two of its members, one from the Windsor Symphony Orchestra itself – Tino Konstantin Popovic, assistant concertmaster of the orchestra and member of the orchestra team. education and community outreach. The other new member of the troupe is an incredible player, Finnish accordionist Matti Pulkki. The group is completed by oboist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Colin Maier, who joined in 2009 and cellist Kirk Starkey who joined in May 2018.
With nine albums under their belt, the band had plenty of material to draw from, but chose to perform eight of the 13 songs from their latest Tasty Tunes album. This made up most of their repertoire, but still provided an amazing evening/afternoon of well-performed music. It’s not just the undeniable skills of the ice cream quartet players that stand out, but also their energy and enthusiasm. The band uses big moves and onstage choreography to get the crowd going.
Each member of the group had time to show off their skills by performing a piece close to their hearts. Maier performed an almost ridiculously incredible bagpipe solo on his oboe, Pulkii was able to move his fingers over the many buttons of his accordion at an extraordinary pace, Starkey showed why he is considered one of the best cellists in Canada, all performing while carrying the instrument much like a guitar, and Popovic stepped in to showcase his violin and vocals for a Serbian folk song called Mesečina. It was probably the first time he sang on that big stage at the Captiol Theatre.
One of the highlights of the show was Cab Calloway’s 1931 classic Minnie The Moocher. Although not a full big band swing, it was great to hear the orchestra stretch their wings a bit and let the horn section add some big band sound to the piece.
The show was capped off with a free frozen treat of Nuccelli’s Frozen Yogurt as patrons left the building.
The orchestra will then perform for a sold-out concert featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 15 and another by his contemporary Boccherini, La casa del Diavolo (The Devil’s House) on Thursday, October 6, 2022. For more performances upcoming and ticket information, visit windsorsymphony.com.
Photo: Avril Savoie