I was going to write something longer, but the usual distractions intervened. Just to say that on Saturday I sprung $15 on a hunch for a seat at the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s concert at the National Arts Centre. And I had a wonderful evening. Fresh repertoire, a fine soloist, an unspectacular but attentive guest conductor, a chance to discover an accessible but not schlocky young Canadian composer, an ensemble that handles slow and quiet passages with far more authority than many larger and more prominent orchestras, and a concertmaster who brings great drama and musicality to the ensemble sound. Here’s Richard Todd’s review, but frankly I think I liked the whole night better than he did. If our paths cross again I will certainly check out this ensemble again.