It was the finale performance of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival opening night on Saturday and to be honest, the whole night threw me off guard.
America's leading British conductor, Benjamin Zander, is preparing to conduct what he believes to be England's greatest symphony, Elgar's First.
This equation is simple:a few minutes of discipline equals hours of comfort, pleasure, a lengthened lifespan, and less time spent on medical procedures.
Why bother? Because, for better or worse, the symphony remains the greatest technical and aesthetic challenge and resulting statement that a serious composer can attempt outside of opera.
There's nothing revolutionary about the plot to the show, but it stands apart from others like it thanks to a heightened sense of importance. That's due to the fact that the show is set in Paris after World War II, where there's a spring in people's step for the first time in a long time.