Sunday, 13 December 2015

First world problems

I have discovered that, nine times out of ten, if I don't want to go out in the evening, I'll usually have a good time if I do.

This was certainly the case last night.  We'd been out Friday night and I longed to stay home and watch telly Saturday night.  First world problem, I know.

I dragged myself out to see Nathalie McMaster perform a Christmas concert with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.  I was so glad we went.

The NACO, for one thing, performed a number of lovely Christmas medleys and carol settings.  Among these was James M Stephenson's Holiday Fanfare Medley #1 which featured, wonder of wonders, a carol I've never heard before:  "Come, All Ye Shepherds" which originates from Czechoslovakia. 

They also played Appalachian Carol, arranged by Dan Goeller, which sounds for all the world like a mini-version of Copland's Appalachian Spring.  The following video features liturgical dancing - not my favourite thing, but it gets the women up to the front of the church to light two candles for the Second Sunday in Advent. 

To be clear, there was no liturgical dancing at our concert.  There was a lot of spectacular step-dancing and fiddling.

Nathalie McMaster is a world-class fiddler from Cape Breton who is raising six world-class fiddlers and step-dancers with her husband Donnell Leahy (another world-class fiddler) at Douru, Ontario, which is about a four-hour drive from Hades.  Two of her small daughters joined her on stage to perform - last spring we saw a gaggle of Leahy kids, cousins and what-have-you perform with the NACO, it's very much a family thing.

This video will give you an idea of what much of the evening was like.  Just imagine it cranked up a notch or three; our concert was McMaster's last performance before Christmas and she pulled out all the stops, all evening.  Tip:  things really kick off at about the five-minute mark.

We had been disappointed when Stuart Mclean cancelled his annual Vinyl Cafe Christmas concert to begin treatment for melanoma, another first world problem.  (The disappointment over the missed concert, not the melanoma.) Last night just might tide us over.

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