Take a bowl full of thrilling music, mix it with heart-gripping stories, add touches of passion, dashes of humour and sprinkles of outlandish hats, and you have the delicious “Russia: Love It or Leave It” being presented at the United Mennonite Church, 2277 Enns Road in Black Creek, on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Calvin Dyck, virtuosic violinist, gifted storyteller, wearer of many hats, and well-known in the area as the popular concertmaster of the Vancouver Island Symphony, will be joined by gifted and virtuosic pianist Betty Suderman in a program filled with beautiful, energizing and exciting music of Russia and the Ukraine.
A tasty program
From Gypsy and powerful Russian favourites to familiar classics, Calvin and Betty captivate the audience with the dramatic and tantalizing Dark Eyes; highlights from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet; the gentle Vocalise; passionate Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago; music by Stravinsky and Beethoven; and Vehrlos und Werlassen.
“Short vignettes between sets of music tell of the composers and their lives, the emotional tale of the Mennonite migration from Russia and the Ukraine, and our own personal family histories,” said Dyck as he explained how his and Suderman’s families came to Canada, and how during his last tour of the Ukraine he nearly didn’t make it back to Canada with his golden violin. (But we’re not going to give that all away… you’ll have to go to the concert to find out how and why.)
“We want to reflect a bit on history, both to remember and to be thankful for this country,” added Calvin. “Most Canadians have a migration story – and so there is a connection here for most of us.”
A toe-tapping topping
Calvin (wearing the appropriate hat) and Betty conclude this luscious concert with the vibrant Czardas.
“I just love Gypsy music,” said Calvin. “It’s in my blood!”
Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for students, are available at the door or by calling 250-337-2204.