Powerful performance at perfect venue

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Photo: Catherine Musgrove

Pianist Maxim Bernard gave a breath-taking performance of music composed during the Great War of 1914-1918 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Cathedral opened its doors on December 10 for another spectacular musical showcase. This time, Maxim Bernard, the accomplished pianist, did not disappoint.

 Critics have characterized Bernard as being powerful, sensitive and a very special artist. After an evening of being swept away by his repertoire of interpretations, one can easily understand why he has earned these distinctions.

 A young musician originally from Cap-Rouge, Quebec, Bernard has returned home for the holidays and treated the audience to an extraordinary performance. 

 Performing a recital highlighting pieces composed during the Great War (1914-1918), Bernard captured the audience and took them on an adventure of musical discovery. As soon as the first note was played, we were lost in the moment. 

We were treated to Bernard’s interpretation of technically difficult and moving pieces by Rachmaninov, Medtner, Scriabine, Nielson, and others. True to form, Bernard is powerful yet sensitive to the music. His imagination is bountiful and he brings a rare, superb technique to the pieces. 

 The evening was a story, a page-turner. Every member of the audience was waiting for the next note to be cast and the plot to unfold. There was sadness, triumph, jubilation, surrender, and beauty. With the last note of the last piece, the audience was left feeling exhilarated and complete. 

Bernard offered his audience a vehement journey. He cast his net wide and then pulled his listeners into a passionate, musical wake. He was inspirational, deeply entertaining, and a privilege to have in our city. 

His performance earned him a long and much deserved standing ovation by a much appreciative crowd.

 The Cathedral is as much an ideal musical venue as it is a place of worship. The architecture is not only an artistic piece in its own right, it is also an acoustic masterpiece. The perfectly rounded dome allows the music to enrobe the entire audience. With its influence of Renaissance Atrchitecture, the ceiling is of well-proportioned composition; perfect for such performers as Maxim Bernard.

The Cathedral’s decision in recent years to host in-house performances is proving to be a very astute decision. 

 Bernard’s next performances will be in Atlantic Canada in February, Ottawa in March, Winnipeg in April and Brussels in June. For information, visit www.maximbernard.com

For other musical delights at the Cathedral, check out the Petite série de Holy Trinity planned for 2016.

February 4 at 8 p.m. – Trio Tangere, Jérôme Ducharme (guitar), Louis Trépanier (guitar) and Marc Djokic (violin). 

February 18 at 8 p.m. – Europa Orientalis, Marie-Hélène Breault (flute) and Pamela Reimer (piano). 

March 3 at 8 p.m. – Trio Frontenac, Darren Lowe (violin solo OSQ), Blair Lofgren (cello solo OSQ) and Suzanne Beaubien (piano). 

March 2, 8 p.m. – Mary-Kathryn Stevens-Toffin (viola OSQ) and guests. 

For more details, visit www.cathedral.ca/musique/