The concert also featured a performance of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy with Nikki Chooi as the violin soloist. Previously a member of Mount Royal’s Morningside Music Bridge program, Chooi has developed into a fine soloist, his performance of the fantasy as richly expressive and technically assured as one could want. Musically unfussy, Chooi offered a secure, straightforward account of the solo part, the melodic writing eloquently performed, especially in the fine slow movement. There was also notable flair in the popular final section.
The orchestral accompaniment was somewhat broadly delivered, as indeed it is written, qualities also present in the opening Overture to Ruy Blas by Mendelssohn, one of the composer’s more bumptious pieces. This is not such difficult music for the orchestra, and they and the conductor had a good time with the piece, the vivide orchestral writing and big tune making their mark.