This weekend, I went to two very different concerts.
Friday night: Joseph Edgar at Cabaret La Basoche in Gatineau (Aylmer). He's an Acadian rock singer-songwriter, performing mainly in French; soul_diaspora was the impetus for going to that one. It was a fun and energetic show; he's at that point of his career where he's getting a bit of airplay, but he's still humble and a bit overwhelmed at having sold-out shows a long way from home, even in such a small and intimate venue as that (about 120 audience). His accent lends a distinctive character to his singing, and carries his emotiveness well. He was backed up by a solid band, notably a drummer/bassist/singer who could do all three of those things at once. Our tablemates had come down from Montreal, in a rare reversal: usually, folks from here go there to catch the good music, especially in the case of francophone performers.
Saturday afternoon: Angela Hewitt (piano), with three significant talents from the NAC Orchestra, Yosuke Kawasaki (violin), David Marks (viola), and Rachel Mercer (cello), at the National Gallery. These afternoon concerts are a great opportunity to hear some less well-known classical music in a casual setting. The first piece was Three Romances (Op. 22) by Clara Schumann, a woman of considerable talents as both a composer and performer. Next was Beethoven's Serenade in D major (Op. 8), of which the fourth movement (Adagio--Scherzo) was my favorite of the concert; the following movement (Allegretto alla polacca) is fun too. After the intermission came Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet in E♭ major (Op. 47), which was the most integrated of the three works; rather than liking this or that movement, it was the whole piece which appealed. Ensemble performances are fun to watch, as the performers collaborate as equals rather than following the direction of a conductor, subtly riffing off each other in much the same spirit as musicians in less structured forms do more overtly.