On the programme was Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmilla. Excerpts from various works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake) and Mussorgksy were also featured, in some cases, they were accompanied by puppets from the Windsor Dance eXperience.
As I sat listening to the music, it occurred to me that the Russian orchestral composers really knew their percussion… like a smattering of fine herbs to bring out the essence in a gourmet meal, these composers knew exactly which ping, clack or rachet would effectively flavour every bar of their eclectic music. As a percussionist myself, I was pleased to see -- in addition to a busy timpanist -- four other percussionists on the stage throughout the concert. They were kept busy throughout the concert with triangles, rachets, various snare drums and an assortment of other instruments.
From our elevated side view (read: nosebleed seats in a side balcony), we could see both the puppets and the musicians quite well. I was pleased to have an unobstructed bird’s eye view of the percussion section throughout the performance!