Close your eyes and imagine that you are in Paris. Late Night with Bill Eddins at the Winspear Centre on May 28 was themed: Paris.
After sipping a small class of Dubonet along side my mother, all rosy-cheeked, we found our seats on the left side of the main floor at the Winspear and waited for the evening to begin.
I was glad that a number of other younger folk came to enjoy the beautiful sounds of Paris, also known as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
I soon realized that it wasn’t just the music that the music lovers came to hear/see, but also the comedic side notes of the talented conductor/pianist Bill Eddins and his sidekick conductor, Lucas Waldin. The serious notch was tuned down a bit, which created a light and happy atmosphere.
Mr. Eddins knows not only how to conduct an orchestra but also a crowd. He could lead the listeners into laughter but he also knew when to be serious. Especially, before playing Poulenc’s Aubade on the piano accompanied by the orchestra, he briefly introduced each section of the piece in order to create a better understanding of the story behind the music.
The repertoire chosen allowed a few instruments to shine, even blow their horn. Mr. Eddins created this effect by incorporating small sections of instruments in a few pieces. This was a nice change from the usual instrumental jumble that creates one unique sound as opposed to hearing each instrument’s glory separately.
The harpsichord was like a beret on a Frenchman, the final touch to perfect the French theme.