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People who like classical music like it a lot. And in case you're still under the impression it's only for old people, meet 14 student musicians from the McGill Symphony Orchestra who are hopelessly hooked on classics. View the photo gallery above to discover the pieces of classical music that changed their young lives forever.

We assembled their choices in the YouTube playlist below.

If you're in or near Montreal on Sunday, Nov. 3, you can hear them, along with 123 other members of the McGill Symphony Orchestra, in a gala concert at La Maison symphonique. It's their first time performing in this celebrated concert hall, which is home to l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and l'Orchestre Métropolitain.

The repertoire that conductor Alexis Hauser has chosen for the occasion would be a challenge for any professional orchestra, a fact that underlines the deep pool of talent available among the students enrolled in the orchestral training program at McGill's Schulich School of Music.

To mark the Verdi and Wagner bicentenaries, they'll play popular excerpts from Aïda and Lohengrin. Hauser has also programmed Ravel's richly orchestrated Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2, a virtuosic symphonic work if ever there was one.

But the thing everyone is talking about is the visit of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, who's coming to hear the McGill Symphony Orchestra perform Laterna Magica, a work she wrote in 2008 for the Berlin Philharmonic.

Laterna Magica is also the title of the autobiography of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, and it refers to a crank-operated machine that predates the film projector. Saariaho composed her work as a tribute to Bergman, who died in 2007.

"To journey into Saariaho's music," says The Guardian's Tom Service, "is to be confronted with the darkest and most dazzling dimensions of your subconscious."

Full details on the McGill Symphony Orchestra's Nov. 3 concert at La Maison symphonique are available here.


Listen to CBC Music's 24/7 Orchestral Music stream

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14 pieces that will turn you on to classical music for life

People who like classical music like it a lot. And in case you're still under the impression it's onl…


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#1 posted by
on Oct 29, 2013

the ecstatic sense

the promise of

the seed

the tree

the shade

the love

the soaring depth

of youth

Derek Lindner
#2 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Nov 01, 2013

For me the two artist that most parallel my absorbs ion into classical music's realm are Hillary Simms and Todd Holland. I remember the discovery of finding all those other movements beyond the Moldau. And the Schubert 8th is definitely a gateway work to the Berlioz  orchestra.After all these years, I think the name gets a bad rep though. Why do we consider it unfinished, do we call Schumann's Ovt, scherzo and finale unfinished, or Stravinsky's Sym in three movements.

I've heard that some people are perplexed by the last two beats of the Moldau. The way I look at it is you're mesmerized by the flow of the water, the music while you're listening/watching; time almost stands still. Then you realize you have to get back to your day and with two steps bump, bump, you turn away from the music, the tranquil scene and walk away from the moment of calm you took.

The very first work for me that was my Eureka moment was the Telemann viola concerto in G+ TWV51. This rendition with young artist in the NW is brings it across in the same way it did for me in my twenties. I hope you enjoy it. @lindnerior


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